Make your Destination Dearborn

June 13, 2022

Destination Dearborn — a new program for transfer students from two-year colleges — guides prospective UM-Dearborn degree seekers through enhanced academic advising, increased financial aid, career-ready resources and more.

Photo of inspirational mortarboards at the Spring 2022 Commencement ceremony

The southeastern Michigan percentage for job growth is higher than the national average increase — with large gains in business, manufacturing and professional services.

With many high-wage career paths requiring knowledge and networks that are gained through earning a Bachelor’s degree — thanks to the lessons learned through internships, co-ops, course capstone projects, research work and more — people are continuing to look for bridges to strengthen their skills and career prospects.

UM-Dearborn, with its strong industry connections and Block M name, knows how important these experiences — and access to these experiences — are. That’s where Destination Dearborn comes in. 

Destination Dearborn is for undergraduate students who begin their higher ed careers at two-year colleges, but plan to continue toward a four-year degree. 

UM-Dearborn Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Melissa Stone said students often say they want to continue their education after earning an associates degree. But the process can be frustrating if the transition to earning a bachelor’s degree isn’t clear. Destination Dearborn is our renewed commitment to provide resources and support to students on what they’ll need for a bachelor’s degree at the beginning of their college career instead of waiting until their two-year degree is nearly complete.

“We want to remove obstacles and guide these students from the beginning so that they take the right classes early for their chosen major, which will save time and money,” Stone said. “We also want students to have the experiences in a two-year college —  like making sure they have the foundational skills needed for their dream job — that will help them succeed at UM-Dearborn and beyond.”

A Partnership for Strengthening Education and the Region

For 60-plus years, UM-Dearborn and Henry Ford College (HFC) have provided the southeastern Michigan community with knowledge and skills needed for top-level careers.

The long-standing history and close proximity — the campuses were recently connected by a new walkway located near UM-Dearborn’s parking structure, further eliminates barriers between the two schools — makes HFC the ideal Destination Dearborn partner for the Destination Dearborn’s program launch.

“By leveraging the strengths of our two campuses, we are able to provide enhanced access opportunities to our southeast Michigan students,” said UM-Dearborn Undergraduate Enrollment Management Director Urana Pridemore.

Beginning with the Fall 2022 semester, Henry Ford College students who indicate on their admission application their plans to transfer to UM-Dearborn will be contacted in the Fall to determine interest in the program. In addition, current HFC students will have an opportunity to complete a  “Declaration to Transfer" form to indicate their interest in a Dearborn Wolverine degree. This can be done up to completion of 30 HFC credits to ensure a beneficial and efficient degree plan.

Here’s how Destination Dearborn works:

  • Students interested in transferring will have a dedicated team to make sure every credit counts. They will receive specialized support in developing a clear degree plan. This guidance and aligned curriculum ensures all credits transfer toward your selected degree program.
  • There’s a seamless application process and guaranteed admission once an associates degree is completed, if a student meets program requirements.
  • Students become a part of University of Michigan-Dearborn’s campus before enrolling. They will have access to the campus’ recreational facilities, connect with key library resources and research support and get support with job, internship and co-curricular experiences.

In addition, Pridemore and Stone said that all students who participate in the  program — which include developing and staying on track with their four-year degree plan, engaging with UM-Dearborn on events designed to support early engagement,  and completing their associates within three years with a 2.75 cumulative GPA — will be eligible for UM-Dearborn’s top transfer student funding awards for up to four semesters.

Preparing Michigan for the Future

Between these enhanced transfer student financial aid awards and the UM-Dearborn’s Go Blue Guarantee, UM-Dearborn Chancellor Domenico Grasso says many of Destination Dearborn’s students have the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s degree at a very low cost.

Continuing the community education mission UM-Dearborn has had for six-plus decades, Grasso said it’s important to help the state of Michigan reach its goal of creating a stronger economy by increasing the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree from 45% to 60% by 2030.

Grasso said the university will continue developing ways to support highly qualified, talented and motivated students to succeed in a 21st century workforce because college education reaches beyond just preparing one individual — it is a transformative experience that impacts families and communities.

In addition to this new program, UM-Dearborn also has several inclusive financial aid programs available to benefit transfers interested in completing their Bachelor’s degree, such as Focus on the Finish, that supports working adults who complete their associates under the State of Michigan Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect programs or our  Dearborn Comeback for students who may have left without their degree and can receive funding to help complete their degree. 

Article by Sarah Tuxbury.