DEARBORN — Henry Ford Early College – a collaboration between Henry Ford College, Dearborn Public Schools and the Henry Ford Health Systems – earned a rank of 124th out of the top 500 schools in Newsweek’s America’s Top High Schools list for 2015.
In addition, HFEC is ranked fourth among high schools in Michigan on this list and earned a Newsweek Gold Star Rating for the achievement of HFEC students in poverty.
The Newsweek rankings assess schools based on a broad range of data to determine which institutions do the best job of preparing students for college. Of the top 500 high schools named, 23 are Michigan-based schools.
HFEC is one of six “middle college” high schools announced in 2006 and funded by state grants. HFEC successfully launched in 2007, opening with 40 ninth-graders.
HFEC’s purpose is to prevent students from dropping out of school and prepare them for employment opportunities in the healthcare field. This is a five-year program that students begin at the ninth grade level and complete as a fifth-year senior.
During ninth and 10th grades, students enroll in high school classes with an emphasis on math and science. They are gradually introduced to dual enrollment college classes and their schedules in their 12th and 13th years are almost exclusively HFC coursework and clinical rotations at HFHS.
Upon graduation, qualified students are eligible for employment within HFHS.
Through HFEC, students in grades 9 to 13 simultaneously complete high school, earn a significant number of college credits and receive certification in an allied health profession like Pre-Nursing, Radiographer, Respiratory Therapist and Pharmacy Technician in a five-year curriculum.
Students are from 17 school districts across Wayne County and receive medical training and instruction at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, which is the flagship medical facility of HFHS.
For the past two years HFEC achieved a rank in the 99th percentile of the top-to-bottom rankings of Michigan schools. The school also earned national recognition as a Distinguished Title One School.
Students earn a high school diploma as well as an associate’s degree, a health career certificate, and up to two years of transferable college credits. There is no cost to parents or students to take classes through HFEC. The cost of tuition, books, and fees are paid through the state school foundation grant.
The first HFEC class graduated in 2012. Many HFEC graduates earned acceptance to four-year colleges and universities, including the University of Michigan, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, Central Michigan University, Ohio University, and DePaul University in Chicago.
In 2009, HFEC was the recipient of the Innovation of the Year Award from HFC. The Innovation of the Year project is a national initiative of the League of Innovation, an international organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement with creative ideas and initiatives.
Two HFEC alumni celebrated major milestones before the age of 20. Sarah Kazbour was the first student from HFEC to graduate with her associate’s degree in Nursing at age 19. She graduated from HFEC with more than 75 credits and is working as a nurse while pursuing her undergraduate degree in Nursing.
In 2014, Mikaylah Heffernan was the first HFEC student to graduate from HFC’s Biotechnology Program at age 18. She is attending MSU and majors in Political Science/Pre-law. Her goal is go to law school.
To view additional details about the Newsweek’s America’s Top High Schools list, go to www.newsweek.com/topic/high-schools-2015. To learn more about HFEC, call 313-317-1588 or go to http://earlycollege.dearbornschools.org.