Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies graduates it's first class and Ford donates $1 million

Four school years after first opening its doors to families, Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies’ (HFA: SCS) celebrated its first high school graduation.

HFA: SCS is the public charter middle/high school in Detroit opened in 2009 as a partnership between CCS and HFLI with generous support from the Thompson Educational Foundation. A recently announced $1 million donation to CCS by the Ford Motor Company Fund provides college scholarships and art/design opportunities for HFA: SCS students.

Ten HFA: SCS graduates were accepted to the College for Creative Studies. Members of the Class of 2013 have also been accepted to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, Vassar College, Historically Black Colleges & Universities such as Morehouse College and Clark-Atlanta, and many others.

“HFA: SCS is built on the idea that learning needs to be hands-on, connected to the real world, and should develop not only students’ academic knowledge and skills, but also their potential as creative thinkers and innovative problem solvers,” said Deborah Parizek, executive director of Henry Ford Learning Institute. “These graduates have had a unique high school program, one that prepares them to succeed in college, pursue a career of their choice and realize their potential as transformational agents in our community.”

In addition to academic performance, HFA: SCS students must fulfill two graduation requirements that directly support their exploration of and preparation for life after high school. They must develop and successfully present a comprehensive art and design portfolio to a panel of their instructors and peers, as well as selected CCS faculty. Another requirement is the Senior Mastery Process, which requires students to complete a 75-hour internship in a career area in which they are interested, complete a senior thesis based on research and their internship experiences, and publicly present their research and personal growth findings to an evaluative committee.

“CCS and HFLI have created HFA: SCS with a shared goal of providing traditionally underserved youth with access to post-secondary education opportunities and dynamic careers, especially those in art and design.” said Richard L. Rogers, president of the College for Creative Studies and chairman of the school’s management board. “We are proud of the HFA: SCS Class of 2013. CCS is eager to welcome new HFA: SCS graduates next year as part of the College’s mission to bolster the global creative economy.”

Read more about the Ford donation here.