A Day in the Life of a Hawk is a fun introduction to HFC academics

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All the way to the right in blue is Christina Bailey, with high school students.

Nearly 370 students from local high schools attended A Day in the Life of a Hawk at HFC on March 15 and April 12.

“Many students said this was was the best college tour they ever attended,” said HFC Director of K-12 Relations Tirria Kendred, who organized the events.

Shawn Gatling, a counselor at Henry Ford Academy in Dearborn, hopes the events become a regular option.

"Every session was great,” said Gatling. “My students were so excited and engaged throughout the entire day. Thank you for a wonderful experience.”

Trying something new

Students experienced the hustle and bustle of maneuvering through a college campus to go from one class to another. They attended abbreviated college classes, spoke with representatives from HFC student support programs, and learned what the College offers high school students through dual enrollment programs and after graduating from high school.

“The instructors created engaging lessons for the students,” said Tanji Lilly, a career counselor at Thurston High School in Redford. “They ensured that students understood the value of learning and encouraged them to try new things. We also appreciated the HFC student volunteers helping our students complete their projects.”

A wide range of classes were offered:

  • Creative Writing
  • Introduction to Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System
  • Organs: A Survey of Gross and Microscopic Anatomy
  • Biology: All About DNA
  • Engineering: Program an Autonomous Robot
  • Empowering Others through Teaching
  • Media Communication Arts: Where All the Magic Happens!
  • Intro to College Music
  • Architectural Construction
  • CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) with SolidWorks 2021
  • Theatre Basics: Improvisation and What It Means to Major in Theatre
  • College Mathematics

“I prepared one of the biology labs with an interactive experience aimed to ignite a passion for the wonders of anatomy and physiology and inspire students as they explore academic pathways,” said HFC Director of Academic Services and biology instructor Dr. Cristina Bailey. “The lab experience offered the examination of dissected specimens and their corresponding microscopic structure to gain a peek into the study of biology.”

Academics and other experiences

Students had time to learn about the following areas and student organizations at HFC:

“I loved the different college class experiences for the students. It was very hands-on and made them more engaged,” said Lindsey Backhaus, an academic advisor at Huron High School in New Boston.

Kendred, who plans to bring back A Day in the Life of a Hawk for the 2024-25 academic year, received feedback from students:

  • “I like how we were able to go in these rooms and be active instead of just listening to someone talk.”
  • “The staff really made us feel welcome and comfortable.”
  • “I liked the way they showed how the classes would run and the benefits of this College.”
  • “I liked feeling like an actual college student.”

“A Day in the Life of a Hawk wasn't just about scientific exploration; it was also an opportunity for high school students to learn about our programs,” said Bailey. “We engaged in lively discussions about potential academic pathways, including the exciting programs offered at HFC which could help these future college students map out their educational journeys.”

Plans are in the works to extend these kinds of experiences to high school students through other events. Look for information on our website and through your high school.