New College Name and Brand

Monday, May 19, 2014
Henry Ford College logo

The HFC Board of Trustees recently voted unanimously to officially change the name of the College to Henry Ford College.

HFC is part of a growing trend of community colleges that are dropping the word “community” from their names. In the last 10 years alone, 40 colleges have dropped “community,” including Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Mich., and Jackson College in Jackson, Mich.

One of the reasons for this name change is that HFC will begin to expand its academic programs and offer four-year undergraduate degrees in addition to its numerous two-year associate’s degrees and certification programs. Unlike most four-year educational institutions, HFC’s four-year degree programs will primarily focus on technical industries as opposed to liberal arts programs. HFC’s first four-year degree, which is in culinary arts, will launch in the next year.

Another reason for the new name change is to increase College graduation rates and attract a broader range of students as part of HFC’s new vision statement – “First Choice. Best Choice.”

HFC President Dr. Stan Jensen proposed a name change to the Board of Trustees in recent months as the College continues to enhance programs and offerings focused on helping students achieve career and life success.

“I am very excited that the College will began to offer four-year degrees in the near future at very affordable rates. I can think of no better time than now for the College to change its name as it begins its next 75 years of academic excellence,” Jensen said.

Although the “community” will be dropped from the College’s name, Jensen stated the College will remain focused on the community it serves.

“That will not change whatsoever. Our community has been incredibly supportive of this institution for the past 75 years. This is our home, and we look forward to serving our community and southeast Michigan for the next 75 years and longer,” he said.

New Marketing Brand To coincide with the new College name, the institution recently completed an in-depth marketing research and re-branding study. Based on research with all College audiences, the new brand statement is FutureDriven.

The goals were to craft a new brand based on research that rings true with all of College constituents, targets beliefs and wants, and works well with a diverse audiences. Based on this process, HFC discovered that the core concepts of this brand must revolve around the institution’s prestige as a College, legacy and tradition, the community, technology and workforce.

FutureDriven encompasses the attributes of Henry Ford (the man) that people most respect, evoking both his vision and his drive to succeed.

“We believe this is the right message for students and their families, with the emphasis placed on the student and their future,” explained Dr. Jensen.

This new College brand is versatile and offers the following connotations:

  • “Driven” can mean that the student, or the college, is “driving” (in control). It’s also “driven” as in “determined” – evoking the work ethic that our community is known for.
  • “Future” is a powerful word with connotations for the student AND the community.
  • The brand is simple, complete, and infinitely flexible.

The new brand statement is also authentic based on the scientific marketing research, uniquely differentiates the College from others, is emotionally memorable, and real.

All of the HFC promises will remain in place, including a guarantee that credits earned will transfer to four-year colleges and universities or students will receive a 100 percent tuition refund. In addition, the College will refund all tuition increases to any student who graduates within four years of starting an academic program.

When HFC opened in 1938, it was originally named Fordson Junior College. In 1946, it became Dearborn Junior College before adopting its current name in 1952, named after the Henry Ford Trade School which had closed as its assets were transferred to the Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education. It is the only community college in Michigan that is still affiliated with a K-12 school board.

For further information about the College and the many academic programs it offers, please visit