Students in blue graduation gowns sit in an auditorium at Henry Ford College.Dearborn Public Schools is adding another combined high school/college option for next year’s ninth-grade class.

The Henry Ford Early College – School of Education will be the fourth option for students looking to complete both high school and an associate degree in five years.  All the programs are free to Dearborn students and their families. Two are open to all Wayne County students, including the new education program.

The School of Education will help students obtain degrees in child development or pre-education for elementary, secondary or special education.  Students will also leave with a paraprofessional certificate, allowing them to work as a classroom aide.

College of Education students will get hands-on experience in classrooms across Dearborn Schools.

The program has not yet received final state approval, but that is expected before doors would open in August.

“It’s going to be great,” said Early College Principal Majed Fadlallah.   Graduates from the program could help fill what is expected to be a growing teacher shortage in Michigan and around the country, Fadlallah, said.

Henry Ford Early Colleges/Collegiate Academy

The new program will join two other Early Colleges housed at Henry Ford College.  Each of these programs is considered a separate, small high school. Dearborn Public School students can get bused to the Early Colleges from their home high - Dearborn High, Edsel Ford or Fordson.

Eighth graders who would like to join one of the early college programs need to apply by March 1.  Each program accepts about 50 students a year. Students already in the district have access to the application through their student accounts.  Those not currently attending Dearborn Schools can visit the Early College for more information.  Parents and students can also contact Principal Majed Fadlallah (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to learn more.

In total, Dearborn Public Schools will have four programs next year that offer students a chance to complete both high school and an associate degree in five years.  All of the programs are partnerships between the district and Henry Ford College. All of them also allow Dearborn students to participate in sports, clubs and other activities at their home high schools through 12th grade.

Henry Ford Early College - Dearborn’s first early college, this program is possible through a partnership with Henry Ford Health System.  Students focus on healthcare related fields and get to experience different careers through rotations at HFHS facilities.  This school is open to students from across Wayne County. Students can leave with job-ready associate degrees in fields such as pharmacy technician, paramedic, ophthalmic technician and more.

Henry Ford Early College – Advanced Manufacturing – This program allows students to learn a trade or prepare for a career in an engineering-related field.  Degrees or trade certificates are available in fields such as welding, machine tooling, manufacturing trades, automotive technology, drafting/CAD and energy technology.  Students are exposed to different areas on the HFC campus before picking a path. This program only accepts students residing in the Dearborn Public Schools District.

Henry Ford Early College – School of Education - This newest college will allow students to prepare for careers in education and start getting classroom experience.  Henry Ford College has education articulation agreements with several universities in the state, which will make transferring credits seamless for most students.

Henry Ford Collegiate Academy – Unlike the other programs, this academy starts with Dearborn students attending their home high schools for 9th and 10th grade.  If they qualify on the 10th grade PSAT test, they will be invited to join the academy the next fall.  There is no limit to the number of students accepted, and they can pursue most of Henry Ford College’s academic programs. For 11th and 12th grade, students divide their time between their home high school and the college. Their final year is spent entirely on the Henry Ford College campus.

Since the first early college started in 2007, Dearborn Public Schools has had more than 230 students graduate from the five-year programs.

The five-year programs are among several options for Dearborn Public School students who want to get a head start on college.   Fordson, Edsel Ford and Dearborn high schools all offer opportunities such as Advanced Placement classes and dual enrollment, where student can take some college courses for high school credit.

“Dearborn Public Schools is grateful and proud to be able to offer our students these early college programs.  Whether we are helping launch students directly into a career or giving them a head start on a university degree, we understand these programs are a great asset to our students, our families and our community,” said Dearborn Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Glenn Maleyko.

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