Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an Early College?
    An Early College is an educational format that offers an integrated curriculum of high school and college courses resulting in both a high school diploma and a college certificate, associate's degree, or up to two years of college credit. Typically, students are enrolled in Early Colleges for five years, starting with the ninth grade.
    The Henry Ford Early College is focused on preparing students for professions in health care careers. It is the result of collaboration between the Dearborn Public Schools, Henry Ford College and Henry Ford Health. Learn more...
  2. Where will the Henry Ford Early College be held?
    The programs will take place in a college setting, specifically Henry Ford College and Henry Ford Health in Detroit. Science laboratories and clinical observation experiences will be held at Henry Ford Hospital and at Henry Ford Health Corporate Offices at 1 Ford Place (near W. Grand Boulevard and Lodge Expressway).
    Starting with their junior year, students will spend increasing amounts of their time taking classes on the HFC main campus and in clinical settings and practicum at Henry Ford Health sites.
  3. What type of background should a person have to enter this program?
    Students with all sorts of backgrounds may find this program to their advantage. However, the curriculum is oriented to prepare students for specific health career occupations, so students should be interested in pursuing one of these fields. The Henry Ford Early College currently offers programs for careers as an Ophthalmic Technician; Physical Therapist Assistant, Pharmacy Technician; Radiographer; Respiratory Therapist; Surgical Technologist; Medical Practice - Clinical Management; Medical Practice - Facility Business Management; Biotechnology; Paramedic and Nursing.
  4. If I want to be a doctor or a pharmacist, is this for me?
    This program is for those who have an interest in professional occupations in health care, such as respiratory therapist, pharmacy technician, surgical technologist, physical therapy assistant, and radiographer and other careers that support a health care institution.
  5. Is this free?
    Yes, HFEC is tuition-free. Students will be entitled to take classes for five years (rather than the four for a traditional high school student). Should the student not complete the program in five years, she/he will be responsible for all costs after the fifth year. For those who take more than five years, financial aid may be available to defray the cost of completing the program.
  6. Can I complete the program in five years?
    The standard curriculum is designed to be completed in six years. The accelerated program can be completed in five years.
  7. From which school will I graduate?
    Students will receive a high school diploma from Henry Ford Early College. The associate's degree would be awarded by Henry Ford College. Additionally, students would receive certification through the appropriate regulatory body following passage of the certifying exam.
  8. What about sports and other activities?
    HFEC students are also eligible to participate in some HFC extracurricular activities. Students should realize that their schedule may be different than those at "traditional high schools." Students are eligible to participate in high school sports at their ‘home’ high school. College classes may be offered in the evening, late afternoons, even on Saturdays as well as in late spring and summer. Commitment to the Early College programs may pose interference with extra-curricular participation.
  9. What does Henry Ford Early College expect from their students?
    Henry Ford Early College students should be committed to:
    • attending all classes every day;
    • functioning in a college environment (i.e. changing buildings, walking across campus in inclement weather, etc);
    • acting appropriately in a professional/public environment;
    • adhering to dress code in a professional/public environment
    • maintaining the student academic and affective guidelines as set forth by Henry Ford Early College, Henry Ford College, Dearborn Public Schools, Wayne RESA and Henry Ford Health;
    • following the Henry Ford Early College student code of conduct handbook;
    • completing all state and federal mandates as designated (i.e. complete and update an Educational Develop Plan (EDP) annually, work on a portfolio for graduation and present their portfolio);
    • maintaining successful academic work in both high school and college courses;
    • preparing to accept leadership roles both on campus and in efforts to replicate the Early College concept.
  10. What are the expectations of students in the classroom?
    Students will be expected to work at a college level beginning at the ninth grade. The environment and program will require students to devote greater effort, more time on academics, and a greater commitment to learning than most other high school students are asked to display.
  11. Will I be expected to take college classes in ninth grade?
    No. College-level classes will begin in tenth grade. Students will be expected to develop the habits of behavior and of mind that are required of all successful college students beginning the first day of class.
  12. Will there be an entrance exam?
    There is no entrance exam. All students will have to complete a reading and math placement assessment. Additionally, some college classes require students to pass qualifying/placement exams for entry. Those who are unable to meet the passing level will be expected to participate in remediation until they reach the qualifying level.
  13. Is this program open to students from other school districts?
    Yes. It will be open to students in all school districts in Wayne County.
  14. What kind of support will be available for students?
    Students will have very personal attention in this program. Mentors, counselors, job supervisors, and college tutorials will be available. However, special education support will be available only in the high school classes. Once the student enters the college courses, very limited special education assistance will be available.
  15. Will I be able to continue for a four-year degree?
    Many local universities apply the associate's degree attained in these programs to four-year degrees in other health care -related fields such as hospital administration. Henry Ford Health presently offers tuition reimbursement for employees to continue their education.
  16. How do I apply?
    1. Complete an application
    2. Request transcripts to be sent to Henry Ford Early College
    3. Have the student's current counselor complete the recommendation form
    4. Submit the student writing sample
      You may request these documents from Henry Ford Early College at (313) 317-1588.
    5. Submit all documents to Henry Ford Early College postmarked by March 15th.

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