Know an eighth grader interested in a specialized four- or five-year high school program?
January and February are when the district takes applications for four specialized programs that run for all of high school. Eighth graders and their parents – both in and out of the district – are encouraged to consider applying now.
The programs fall under two categories. Parents or students interested in learning more can check out this year’s Secondary Options presentation on the district’s YouTube channel.
The Dearborn Center for Math, Science and Technology accepts high performing students who are interested in STEM topics. Students will attend DCMST at the Dearborn Heights Campus for half the day and spend the rest of the day at their home high school – Dearborn High, Fordson or Edsel Ford. They can still participate in sports and other activities at their home school and will graduate from their home school. This program is only open to students who reside in the Dearborn Public School District. Learn more on the DCMST page. The application deadline is Feb. 29.
The Henry Ford Early College includes three programs, all of which offer students the chance to earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree, trade certificate or up to 60 hours of college credit in five years and at no cost to the family. Each Early College program has a separate area of focus, so students should carefully consider which area interests them. Students will spend at least two years focused in that area, although they can eventually pursue other options offered by Henry Ford College. All three programs are open to Wayne County students from outside of Dearborn Public Schools. The programs are offered in conjunction with Henry Ford College and introductory classes are housed in a separate building on that campus. Each offers a small-school environment where teachers know their students and can help them succeed. Students who live in the district are allowed to participate in sports and activities at what would have been their home high school. HFEC does not offer sports, dances or some other traditional high school activities. Students who qualify for the program will be selected by lottery. Learn about applying on the Early College website. The application deadline is March 1.
Note, Dearborn Public Schools also offers the Henry Ford Collegiate Academy for students who start at their home high school, but would still like to pursue an associate degree at no cost to the family. This may be a good fit for students who want to pursue a career outside of those included in the scope of the Early College programs.
Three Early College programs
The original Henry Ford Early College focuses on health careers and is best suited for students interested in science. The program is offered in conjunction with Henry Ford Health System, and some seats are reserved for children of HFHS employees who qualify. Students gain hands-on exposure to different health careers with regular visits to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Career opportunities include options such as EMT, nursing, pharmacy tech, radiographer, ophthalmic tech and more. HFEC was the only Michigan high school awarded a National Blue Ribbon in 2021. The district has created a promotional video with more information about the medical careers program.
The next oldest program is Henry Ford Early College – Advanced Manufacturing. This program helps students achieve a degree or certification in fields such as drafting/CAD, automotive technology, machine tool technology/CNC and more. Students interested in working in the trades also find this program well suited to their needs.
The newest of the three programs is the Henry Ford Early College Pre-Education Program. Students in this program are interested in eventually working with children in some capacity, whether that is becoming a certified teacher, running a child-care center, or working as a paraprofessional.