Education has become the critical factor in determining economic success. For individuals -- and for communities.

HFA: ASAD, and every other new Henry Ford Academy, is a partnership between Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI) and local community organizations -- urban schools designed to impact student achievement, their community and education as a whole.

To prepare students for college and career success, HFLI brings to HFA: ASAD a complete school design, including a core curriculum based in part on the education reform model first implemented at Henry Ford Academy (HFA) in Dearborn, Mich. in 1997. Henry Ford Academy in Dearborn has a cumulative graduation rate of more than 90 percent; 100 percent of its graduating classes of 2007-2013 were accepted to colleges and universities.

HFA: ASAD is committed to graduating 100 percent of its students and sending 100 percent of those graduates on to a college or university.

One of the strengths of the Henry Ford Academy model is its success in ensuring that students and teachers understand and make tangible connections between what they learn and teach in class and how this knowledge is relevant and necessary in their post-secondary career and educational experience.

To graduate, all HFA: ASAD students must successfully complete the Senior Mastery Process, a three-part, 18-month capstone experience in which students prepare for and complete an extended exploration of their individual career interests, design and conduct a substantial action research project, engage in an internship associated with that research, and present their findings in a formal defense.

Each HFA: ASAD graduate will demonstrate a readiness to thrive as a contributing member of the 21st century global community by meeting expectations for high standards of personal mastery in each of the Five Developmental Areas: Academic Content, Technology, Communication, Thinking and Learning, and Personal Management.

Today's HFA model curriculum is designed to help students become gain an orientation of innovation needed for success in the 21st century. It is thought to be America's only innovation-based K-12 curriculum where learning centers around quarterly design challenges that bring students together and engage them in the process of developing a solution to a real-world question.

HFA: ASAD teachers and students use a design process adapted from Stanford University's to tackle quarterly design challenges that integrate what they are learning in core classes with a central question.

By working with their peers and community members to develop possible solutions to the questions, such as "How might we develop a better carryall for someone?" or "How might we reduce crime in our community?," students develop emerging skills as creative thinkers and problem solvers.