College and Career


"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate." —Oprah Winfrey

How many times does a high school student hear the question, “what do you want to do when you graduate?”


The Dearborn Academy College and Career Services Program prepares students for life after Dearborn. During a student’s junior and senior years, students and counselors work together to identify transition options suited to the student’s strengths, interests and learning preferences. Students develop specific goals through an individualized plan that includes both college counseling and career planning support. 

At the beginning of their Junior year, Dearborn students get paired with a licensed guidance counselor with whom they meet weekly both individually and in small groups for the next two years. This helps each student prepare to apply to college, gain entrance into training programs and/or develop work skills for independent living after Dearborn. 

Transition to College

Guidance counselors work closely with students around all aspects of the college application process. Students receive guidance and help in preparing and applying to take the SAT or ACT. Counselors not only help each student find appropriate two- or four-year colleges appropriate but also frequently visit those colleges with the student. Counselors also help in filling out applications and financial aid forms (FAFSA) and may help to find academic supports at the college to ensure the student's successful transition. 

Transition to a Career

Not everyone finds a college path to be the most desirable way to transition from Dearborn. Depending on their interests and talents, students are helped to access training programs in the trades. Many build on experiences they have had in our own extensive shop programs. Still others branch out in new areas and look for different apprentice opportunities. Career planning includes career education field trips, hearing from speakers from varied career fields, internships, classes and other school-to-work activities.

Creating A Roadmap Beyond Dearborn

Students needing ongoing assistance beyond their Dearborn graduation are able to get help in connecting with appropriate state agencies that provide continuing services to high school graduates. This can involve a period of counseling, additional academic support and directed assistance in finding meaningful work. And Dearborn counselors remain available for informal conversations with graduates. This means that 100% percent of our graduating students leave with a personalized transition plan that acts as the first step along the road beyond Dearborn.