Henry Ford Early College HS cited in Education Week for Preparing Students for Health Care Careers

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MCNC’s member school, Henry Ford Early College HS, provides an alternate career/college pathway for high school students in a high need area of their community-health care. Education Week cites Henry Ford Early College HS for filling a critical gap in health care in Southeastern Michigan.

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Dr. Cecilia L. Cunningham, President MCNC

The early college concept helps students, especially those underserved by their previous schools, gain a college degree and skills necessary for gainful employment.

There is an imminent health care employment problem looming for the Henry Ford Health System in Southeastern Michigan, according to Education Week. Many of their essential employees, including medical technologists, therapists, and lab professionals are over 50 with many over 70. One solution to this problem was for the Ford Health System to join with the Dearborn School District and Henry Ford Community College to create Henry Ford Early College HS. Education Week notes that in this school, students can receive “a high school diploma, an associate of science degree, and a certification in one of 12 allied health fields, such as surgery technology, radiology or biotechnology, at no cost to their family”.

Cecilia Cunningham, Executive Director of the Middle College National Consortium, states that the early college concept helps students, especially those underserved by their previous schools, gain a college degree and skills necessary for gainful employment.

Henry Ford Early College HS, which is a member of the Middle College National Consortium’s Early College HS partnership, is one of the best examples of the early college concept according to Dr. Cunningham. The administration and staff work closely with the students while students attend classes in the Henry Ford hospital one day a week. On Wednesdays students get a deeper understanding of the health care field by shadowing health care professionals.

Presently, there are over 200 early colleges in the United States. According to Education Week a problem that Henry Ford Early College HS shares with other early colleges is students who are not adequately prepared for college work. According to Heyam Alcodray, the principal of Henry Ford ECHS, “We are going to follow them, to make sure they register and they finish off what they need to do” and the staff will support Henry Ford students until they graduate. Also contributing to the success of the Henry Ford ECHS is the ability of students to take popular college courses, which is not true at many early colleges.

The Middle College National Consortium, a significant partner of Henry Ford Early College HS, has as a mission the development and support of small schools in which high school students, especially those who have been previously underserved by their former schools, can earn both a high school diploma and either an Associate’s degree or transferable college credits upon graduation. MCNC, headquartered in New York City, is a leader in the movement to establish and sustain dual enrollment, high school and college, as a viable and necessary educational model.

To learn more about the programs at Henry Ford Early College HS you can visit them at http://earlycollege.dearbornschools.org/. To get a comprehensive overview of the history, design principles, current work and achievements of the Middle College National Consortium, they can be visited at http://www.mcnc.us.    

Contact information
Tony Hoffmann
Middle College National Consortium
http://www.mcnc.us
718-361-1981 X6
thoffmann(at)mcnc(dot)us

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