HFCC celebrating 75 anniversary

Photo courtesy of Henry Ford Community College
Molecular Biology students perform an experiment the Henry Ford Community College’s state-of-the-art Science Center.

DEARBORN — This year, Henry Ford Community College celebrates 75 years of academic excellence and service to the community. The goal: to help students imagine and achieve a career and life of excellence.

Since it first opened its doors in 1938 under the name of Fordson Junior College, HFCC has served as the gateway for thousands of students seeking affordable, high-quality post-secondary higher education. HFCC – a comprehensive public community college – serves approximately 18,000 students each year in southeast Michigan. It is the only community college in Michigan affiliated with a P-12 school district: the Dearborn Public Schools.

Throughout the years, HFCC has dedicated itself to student achievement and career success through programs and resources geared toward high-growth industries. HFCC prepares students for a rapidly changing world and workplace by offering more than 100 associate degree, career and university transfer programs. HFCC offers high-quality, innovative programs to meet the educational and training needs of the region. Students prepare to transfer to a university or prepare to go directly to work.

Over the years, HFCC has cultivated partnerships with many area businesses and holds the Dearborn community in the highest regard. For instance, Henry Ford Early College – a partnership launched in 2007 between HFCC, Dearborn Public Schools and Henry Ford Health System in coordination with Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency and the State Board of Education – earned a ranking in the 99th percentile of the Top-to-Bottom rankings of Michigan schools for 2013. As a result, HFEC is among the top four schools in Wayne County and the only high school in the group. The goal of HFEC is to prepare students for employment opportunities in health careers. This is a five-year program that students begin as a freshman and complete as a fifth-year senior. The successful HFEC student will earn a high school diploma and either a health career college certificate through an associate’s degree in a health-related field, or up to two years of transferable college credits. As a member of the Middle College National Consortium, HFEC focuses on a small school learning setting, real-world learning experiences, and service learning in an academically challenging environment.

Sarah Kazbour is the first registered nurse to graduate from HFEC at 19-years-old. Upon completing HFCC’s Nursing Program in May 2013, Kazbour was offered a position as an RN at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. She has also transferred to an online program at Ohio University to earn her bachelor’s degree in Nursing.

The Henry Ford Collegiate Academy is another partnership between HFCC and Dearborn Public Schools. This effort provides students a chance to earn both a high school diploma and a two-year associate’s degree in only five years at nocost to parents or students. Students enter the program at the start of their junior year based on their scores on the ACT PLAN test taken their sophomore year. Music, athletics, clubs, commencement ceremonies, honors night, prom and all other relevant activities are still a part of their high school experience when enrolled in the HFCA. They also have access to all of the programs and offerings of a true college experience at HFCC.

In addition, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan recently awarded HFCC a $100,000 grant to develop a collaborative nanotechnology and microsystems technician training program. This grant represents a partnership between HFCC’s Biotechnology Program, the University of Michigan Lurie Nanofabrication Facility, the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network and the Southwest Center for Microsystem Education to make nanotechnology and microsystems training available for community college students.

For the second consecutive year, HFCC has been declared a Military Friendly School. In fact, HFCC is in the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide working to ensure the educational success of America’s military service members, veterans and spouses. HFCC established the Office of Military and Veterans Service in 2012 and has a very active Veterans of America chapter on campus. Additionally, HFCC offers on-campus employment opportunities for veterans to serve as peer mentors. Through HFCC’s Military Advisory Council, HFCC provides connections with Ford Motor Co. and other prominent businesses that could lead to career opportunities.

HFCC’s Michigan Technical Education Center also continues to support the region’s economic development by providing customized programs and services to enhance current workforce skills and provide certification for job seekers. This program continues to make significant impact for many organizations, including the Michigan Dept. of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth, Detroit Workforce Development Dept., Michigan Economic Development Corp., and Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services.

These resources, in addition to the vibrancy of HFCC’s Music Programs, Theatrical productions, Hammond Planetarium, Hospitality Studies and Culinary Program – featuring the student-run Fifty-One O One Restaurant – and HFCC’s Athletic Programs, offer students and the community opportunities to study and enjoy diverse cultural events throughout the year.

As HFCC celebrates its milestone diamond anniversary, it has redoubled its dedication to its mission, which is educating and enriching its students and community, as well as valuing teaching and learning in an effort to prepare students for a rapidly changing world and workplace. HFCC fosters critical thinking, creativity, integrity, and self-esteem. HFCC has a rich tradition of building futures, measuring its success by the success of its students in a democratic, diverse, and increasingly technological nation. Most importantly, as the College celebrates its 75th birthday, we wish to sincerely thank our community for their ongoing, unwavering support, and look forward to serving you for another 75 years!

To learn more about HFCC, go to www.hfcc.edu or on Facebook, www.hfcc.edu/facebook; Twitter, https://twitter.com/hfcc; Linked in, http://www.linkedin.com/company/henry-ford-community-college; and on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/user/henryfordcc. You may also call 800-585-HFCC (4322).