Course Descriptions

Art Exploration

Core 10     

This one trimester course introduces students to the world of artistic expression and design through a variety of exploratory projects and the introduction of basic art concepts and techniques: linear line drawing, perspective, beginning design and painting skills.  Since the emphasis is on appreciation and skill development, students without natural artistic talent at the start can still earn an A in the course through their personal growth and effort.  This course serves as the prerequisite for other electives in Art. 

Automotive Design

Elective 10, 11, 12     

This one trimester art course will focus on the basic design principles of automotive design. Students enrolling in this class should have some sort of interest in cars and or design. This is a drawing intensive course; students are responsible for completing anywhere from 3 to 10 drawings per class period. Successful completion of any art class and an interest in cars and or design will help you to do well in this class. Some purchase of artistic supplies will be expected.  Pre-requisites: Successful completion of Art Exploration and Auto Design I; Drawing I is also recommended.

Drawing I

Elective 10, 11, 12

This drawing class, serving as a mandatory pre-requisite for most other art Electives, will challenge all art students no matter their talent or level of experience. It addresses a wide range of drawing techniques, media and subject matter. Students will be expected to use still-life arrangements, photographs and their imagination. Pre-requisite: Successful completion of Art Exploration.

Independent Study

Elective 11,12     

This one trimester course will challenge art students to create a wide range of art work. From personal logos and fonts to story-boards and design layouts, art students will be thrust into the world of a free-lance artist. Students who sign up for this class should be interested in art as a possible career choice.

Illustration, Commercial Art, & Design

Elective 10, 11, 12  

This one trimester course will challenge art students to create a wide range of design type art. From personal logos and fonts to story-boards and design layouts, art students will be thrust into the world of a free-lance artist. Students who sign up for this class should have done well in Art Exploration and have a strong interest generally in art.


Elective 10, 11, 12

This one trimester course will focus on painting. Students will paint using still-life arrangements, photographs and examples of masters from art history.  Students will work with oil pastels, water color, tempera and acrylic paints and should expect to spend significant time refining their initial sketches as well as perfecting their techniques with each medium. Students should have some drawing experience and an interest in art before they enroll in this class. Pre-requisites: Successful completion of Drawing I and Art Exploration.


Elective 10, 11, 12

This 3-dimensional art course will focus on designing, forming and building artistic sculpture. Primarily non-traditional 3-dimensional media will be used and explored. Students should have some drawing skills and a creative knack for building things. Foam Core sculptures, print making and modeling paste forms are just a few of the projects that will be assigned. Pre-requisites: Successful completion of Art Exploration.

Advanced Placement English

Elective 10, 11, 12    

Advanced Placement English is a college-level class that is designed to meet the standards and expectations of an entry level English course at a major college or university.  The students study various writers and their works through novels, short stories and poetry.  Additionally, students prepare a wide variety of essays in response to literature.  The course additionally focuses on preparation for the AP test, which is taken in the spring and, if passed, allows students to earn actual college credits.

African American Film and Literature

Elective 10, 11, 12

This course celebrates the historical and aesthetic development of African-American literary arts in the face of (often legalized) racial oppression. Students learn techniques and theories for ciritcal reading to explore literary issues related to culture, race, and social history. 

American Literature

Core 10    

Students will explore the unique and complex American identity and its expression in American life via a wide range of formal and informal methods: texts, including novels, short stories, speeches, poetry, and personal narratives.  Students will have the opportunity to tailor the course content and level of challenge through the selection of several novels for literature circle reading groups and discussion.  Several significant inter-disciplinary projects align this course with American History, taken concurrently.  In addition, this course will help students improve their skills in writing, presentation, and communication.

Creative, Nature, Law Writing

Elective 10, 11, 12

This course offers students the opportunity to develop skills in analysis, writing and research in the context of writing. 

English Language Arts

Core 9

9th Grade English Language Arts introduces freshmen to the foundations of Language Arts: sharpening reading comprehension skills, analyzing complex texts, developing vocabulary and language skills, and broadening writing skills in various modes.  Students study high interest novels and stories, as well as classics like Romeo and Juliet and To Kill a Mockingbird. 

QUEST/World Literature

Core 11

This course teaches communication skills necessary for life in a modern global society. Using thematically related literature from around the world, students will improve these necessary skills, including reading for understanding, writing for multiple purposes, and presenting to diverse audiences.  All skills will be honed with the intention of preparing students for college and other secondary options.

Reading and Writing Workshop

Elective 10, 11, 12

This course is deliberately designed to offer a simple and predictable environment so that the teacher can focus on the complex work of observing students' progress and teaching into their needs. 

Senior English

Core 12

By examining a variety of modern texts, including short stories, poetry, drama, extended prose, non-fiction and novels of individual choice, students will explore “Contemporary Issues in Life and Literature.”  They will also have the chance to refine their communication and writing skills through assignments designed to prepare them for college-level performance expectations as well as draft several of the essays required on most university admissions applications. 

Strategies in Math & English

Core 11 

Students will work to sharpen their standardized test-taking skills by analyzing and taking released versions of commonly administered tests: the MME, ACT, and SAT. They will also learn test preparation and test taking strategies that have a history of improving students’ scores.

Spanish 1

Core 9

In this class, students will learn how to speak, listen, write, read interpret Spanish, as well as become familiar with the common cultural customs of Spanish speaking countries. By the end of the class students will be able to carry on a meaningful conversation about daily activities both personal and general. Topics such as their name, personal descriptions, family members, food and drink, likes and dislikes, clothing, colors, current dates, time, weather, and activities. Students will be familiar with the culture and geography of most, if not all, twenty Spanish speaking countries around the world. After twenty-six weeks in this class you will have fulfilled the first year of the two-year foreign language requirement.

Spanish 2

Core 10

This course will build upon the topics learned in Spanish 1.  There will be an emphasis on speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.  Learning will be done via group dialogs, team projects, skit performances, songs and demonstrations.  Other topics that will be implemented in addition to enhancing of past topics are generational issues, personal wellness and social activities.  At the completion of this course the student will have fulfilled the two year foreign language requirement.                                    

Spanish 3

Elective 11, 12

Spanish 3 will enhance a student’s ability to fully communicate in another language.  This course is designed to help students bridge the gap from beginner to enhanced speaker.  Grammar and vocabulary will be built upon via more performance-based units, and project implementation and completion.  With a successful outcome of this course, students may be able to test out of some university foreign language requirements.  Entrance into this class is based on performance in Spanish 1 and 2.  Travel and study abroad opportunities are available for students at this level.

Algebra 1

Core 9       

Students will study algebraic concepts through an investigation of data representation, algebraic equations, linear equations, direct variation, reasoning and measurement, and ratios and probability.  They will have the opportunity to apply their developing knowledge and skills to several small and extended math-related projects.

Algebra 2

Core 11     

Topics of study include advanced linear equations, quadratic equations, rational and irrational numbers, and exponential functions.  The unit on Trigonometry includes a review of right triangle ratios and an introduction to the Laws of Sine and Co-sine.  Students will spend a considerable amount of time applying their math knowledge to real-life situations. 


Core 10

Geometry will allow students to learn and discuss shapes in the world around them. They will explore the topics of constructions, transformations, rigid motions, congruence, similarity, right triangle trigonometry, circles, and 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional space.  Throughout the class, there are opportunities to apply their knowledge to a variety of activities, innovations and projects. 

Math in Daily Life

Elective 11, 12

Math in Daily Life is a class that covers the types of math used everyday: Banking, Credit, Buying and Using a car, Buying a home, Income Taxes and Budgeting. Students will learn how to calculate loan payments, fill out income tax forms, compare banks and credit cards, and budget their income. The objective of this course is to prepare students for life after graduation.


Core 12, Elective 11

 Pre-calculus is designed for students preparing to take college-level Calculus. The primary objectives are to: help students understand the fundamental concepts of algebra, trigonometry, and analytic geometry; foreshadow important ideas of calculus; and show how algebra and trigonometry can be used to model real-life problems. Twelve basic functions are emphasized throughout the course as a major theme and focus: identity, quadratic, cubic, reciprocals, square root, exponential, natural logarithm, sine, cosine, absolute value, greatest integer and logistic functions. There are ten units: functions and graphs; polynomial, rational and power functions; exponential, logistic, and logarithmic functions; trigonometric functions; analytic geometry; vectors, parametric equations, and polar equations; systems and matrices; analytic geometry in two and three dimensions; discrete mathematics; limits, derivatives, and integrals.

Probability & Statistics

Elective 10,11,12   

This one trimester course is designed to provide students with basic probability and statistics knowledge. Topics to be covered include:  Organizing Data, Measure of Central Tendency, Measures of Position, Quartiles and Box Plots, and Probability Basics. 

Senior Algebra

Core 12

Senior Algebra is designed for students preparing for college algebra. Symbolic manipulation skills (simplifying expressions, solving equations, graphing, etc) are refined and extended. Real-world applications are integrated into the course. Topics studied include: systems of linear equations and inequalities; quadratic functions; polynomial and rational functions; inverse, exponential, and logarithmic functions; trigonometry; and series and sequences.

Strategies in Math & English

Core 11 

Students will work to sharpen their standardized test-taking skills by analyzing and taking released versions of commonly administered tests: the MME, ACT, and SAT. They will also learn test preparation and test taking strategies that have a history of improving students’ scores.

Topics in Algebra

Elective 10, 11, 12

This course includes the evaluation of algebraic equations, exponent rules and manipulation, polynomials, solving and graphing linear equations, solving and graphing two variable inequalities, solving systems of equations, radicals, word problems, solving and graphing quadratic equations, and factoring.

Creating Music with Technology

Elective 10, 11, 12

This course is designed to introduce students to the theory and fundamentals of using software and hardware tools for producing music (including digital music editing, multi-track recording, MIDI note entry, signal processing plugins, computer music notation software, sound design, electronic music history, and microphone technique). The class will stress application and creative content, using a series of project-based learning activities which includes student exposure to performing with electronic instruments and vocal recording, multi-track recording (both MIDI sequencing and live instruments), music arranging, and music history.

Music, Mixed Media, & News

Elective 10, 11, 12

Students will explore the effects music has on different media outlets and news reports by creating and maintaining weekly student announcements that are broadcast to the student body.


Core 9       

The Health Education Course is designed to enhance the awareness and knowledge of healthy lifestyle choices. The topics covered include: alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, managing conflict and preventing violence, nutrition and sexual education while advocating for the students to make healthy choices for their overall health.

Physical Education

Core 9

The Physical Education Course is an essential part of the total education of every student. In this class, students will obtain the knowledge and skills needed to lead an active life. It will include physical fitness, various team sports and individual sports


Elective 12

This course surveys core topics in recent bioethics - the study of ethical problems using from the use and treatment of human and non-human animals in the research and practice of medicine and biotechnology.


Core 10

Students explore the nature and formation of cells, evolution, ecology, biodiversity, and recycling. This course addresses microscopic as well as larger life forms and their interactions with each other and the environments in which they live.


Core 11

This two trimester course is designed to prepare students for introductory college chemistry by fostering critical thinking skills, developing basic chemistry knowledge, and encouraging awareness of the effect of chemistry on the world around us.   Inquiry, experimentation, analysis, writing, and collaborative participation are the methods that will be used. This course will culminate with the Soap Making Project utilizing acid-base chemistry, non/non-polar solutions, and stoichiometry calculations.  Use of the textbook will be taught, encouraged and emphasized to further prepare students for future college science courses.

Earth Science

Core 9

This course is an examination of the Earth as a system within itself and as a part of the solar system, the Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe in which the Earth exists. Within the Earth both the abiotic and biotic realms and the interactions between them will be considered. 

Environmental Science

Elective 10, 11, 12

This course is dedicated to understanding the interactions between earth's natural systems and the demands placed on them by the human population.

Human Body Systems

Elective 10, 11, 12

Students are introduced to select body systems, how they function, and how disease affects these systems. Students will work in cooperative groups as well as individually on various models and projects to illustrate how the organs function in different circumstances. Hands-on dissection of a fetal pig brings to “life” the various body systems and how they interact. 

Immunology and Diseases

Elective 10, 11, 12

Students study the physical, mental, and sociological effects of large scale diseases over human history. After students review the basics of immunology we attack the top ten diseases in the world, their causes, their outcomes, and the way they shaped the world as they knew it. They will combine all of this to create their own final disease complete from discovery to warning the public. 

Marine Biology

Elective 10, 11, 12

This course studies marine organisms, their behaviors and interactions with the environment. It also looks at the habitats and ecological environments in which these organisms live. 


Core 12

This course provides a systematic introduction to the main principles of physics and emphasizes the development of conceptual understanding and problem-solving ability through the application of algebra and trigonometry.  The major topics covered are mechanics, energy, electricity and magnetism, wave properties, and modern physics.  Considerable effort is made to relate physics theory with real-world and laboratory experiences.

Edible Education: Growing Your Own Garden

Elective 10, 11, 12

Students learn the importance of small community gardens and how to create and maintain them in an organic and sustainable manner. The course focuses on the major components gardens need to grow; sun, soil, water, nutrients and how they interact and balance to create a perfect growth environment. During this project based course, students will develop their own gardens to fit their space, budget, and food preferences. 

Edible Education: Cooking for College

Elective 10, 11, 12

Students will delve into the basics of food survival in college dorms. Their final project will be to create a week's worth of meal plans that fit with their budget, nutrition breakdown, and available tools. To get their students will be learning in depth nutrition, balance and budgeting along with tips and tricks for making regular college meals and leftovers just a little more healthy. 

Junior Workshop

Core 11    

Junior Workshop is the first phase of the Senior Mastery Program. In this technology rich course, students examine their personal strengths and learning/work styles, explore various career and educational pathways, develop a set of job search documents and related skills, and begin to prepare for their Senior Practicum in a career area of interest. This intensive course culminates in students completing an extensive personal portfolio which includes a 20-page autobiography, several personal reflection papers, a formal resume, career and college research, and plans for the Practicum placement.  This collection serves as a record of this critical starting point in HFA’s Senior Mastery Program.

Senior Practicum

Core 11,12

The Senior Practicum Experience, part two of the Senior Mastery Program, is a supervised work-based learning experience in which students are placed with an Adult Partner in a local working environment. With the guidance of the Adult Partner and the Senior Practicum Director, students engage in meaningful learning and work activities, research a specific question about issues that are intriguing and challenging, as well as gain valuable experience in a career of their interest. Students must complete 75 hours of fieldwork to fulfill the Senior Practicum requirements. 

Senior Workshop

Core 11,12

Senior Workshop is the final phase of the three-part Senior Mastery Program in which students finalize their research process to answer a focus question related to their area on career interest, write an extensive reflective paper and prepare for their Senior Defense.  Each student must give a formal 30-minute presentation to a diverse evaluation committee in which they share a detailed description of their Practicum experience and future plans, explain their research process, discuss their conclusions, and respond to critical questions from the audience.  Successful completion of the Defense is mandatory for graduation from HFA. 


Core 9

Civics is an introductory class devoted to the study of the Foundation of American Democratic Ideals. The course uses English, mathematics, and other social sciences to apply Core democratic concepts to real life situations. Throughout the course, students will explore the need and relevance for laws and government in our lives.

Current Events

Elective 11, 12        

This course will examine current events in the United States and around the world from a sociological and economic stance. We will also explore the news media and the ways in which it communicates information about these events to people. We will use and analyze periodicals, television, the Internet, political cartoons and film. We will also study elements of geography to gain a stronger sense of where these events are occurring and how they impact their region and the world.


Core 10       

Economics is an introductory class devoted to the study of the American Free Enterprise System. The course uses English, mathematics, and other social sciences to apply economic concepts to real-life situations. Throughout the semester, we will explore the need and relevance for economic principals in our lives.

Honors US History

Core ACE 11

Honors U.S. History fulfills the required U.S. requirement for Junior students in the ACE program.  It evaluates primary and secondary sources while also exploring the grounds of the Henry Ford within the context of American History.  By the conclusion of the course, students will be able to evaluate the validity of primary sources within its context, determine potential bias and reasoning for decisions made in the past, and how issues in history have influenced future decisions.

Michigan History

Elective 10, 11, 12     

Michigan History is a 12-week elective course that investigates our state's role in major world and American events. Through a chronological approach, students will look at our state from the time of its foundation, through its earliest inhabitants, reactions with European explorers, and into statehood. Outside investigation of our state around us as well as internal investigations with the resources of the Henry Ford adds context and clarity to a history that feels very local.

Practical Law, Intro to Law

Core 10,11,12

Practical Law is a class devoted to the study of the United States Constitution, state, federal law and application of law.  The course uses English, technology, and other social sciences to apply legal concepts to real-life situations. In this course, students will broaden their understanding of case law, procedures and application of the law and become more confident in public speaking and problem solving.

U. S. History

Core 10

This course is designed to give students an understanding of the historical developments in the late nineteenth century and the Twentieth-Century United States. Students will review important American events and ideas prior to 1877, but will primarily focus on Modern American History.  The period following Reconstruction until the late twentieth century have a direct bearing on the generations that lived at the times in which they occurred but also our present. Students will use primary and secondary sources, the Henry Ford Museum, and Greenfield Village as a guide to modern thoughts and understanding of American History.                                    

World History

Core 11

World History explains the formations of major civilizations and how they evolved based on numerous factors including geography, climate, and leadership.  The course includes research projects regarding mythology and World War II.  Through primary and secondary sources, students will look at historical events and discover how societies react to one another and how their successes and failures lead to new issues in the world, some still being felt today.

Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles

Elective 10, 11, 12

AP Computer Science Principles is a full-year introductory computer science course. The course is endorsed through College Board and hosted through The students will learn foundational computer science concepts and practice problem solving skills with the creation of digital apps and projects. There are two main components to this course: the creation and submission of the student-created app, and the passing of the AP CSP exam. Successful completion of both components could allow students to earn a college-level, introductory computer science credit. (full year course - 3 trimesters)

ArcGIS-Geographical Information Systems

Elective 10,11, 12

In partnership with EMU and GTTC, this course involves map-making software with the capture and analysis of spatial and geographic information. (full year course - 3 trimesters)

CAD & 3D Printing

Elective 10, 11, 12

Students will learn how to create objects with Computer-Aided Design software. Students will also have the ability to 3D print a replica of their completed artifact. Strong spatial reasoning and geometry understanding encouraged. (1 trimester course)

Computer Science  1 - SNAP!

Elective 10, 11, 12

In this first course of computer programming, students will learn block-based coding with SNAP!. Students will create interactive programs and animations. (1 trimester course)

Computer Science  2 - Python

Elective 10, 11, 12

In this second course of computer programming, students will learn to use text-based coding with the Python language. Students will create interactive stories and games. (1 trimester course)

UAV Drone Challenge

Elective 10, 11, 12

Students will learn about the forces of flight and how they affect different unmanned aerial vehicles. Students will also learn to fly and code a small drone. This course should naturally filter into the ArcGIS track. (1 trimester course) 

Web Design

Elective 10, 11, 12

Students will learn to use HTML and CSS to create personal and multi-paged web pages. (1 trimester course)

Academic Coaching

Core 9, 10, 11, 12

This course meets twice per week and focuses on effective note-taking, organizational, time management and study skills.

Dual Enrollment

College courses taken concurrently with a least one high school course.                                  

Foundations of Innovation

Core 9

Foundations of Innovation introduces students to the design process.  This process is applied in many contexts and used especially during design challenges that are post-hold throughout the curriculum.  Design-based thinking is woven into each area of academic instruction (math, science, social studies and English language arts), as well as in interdisciplinary units and project experiences.  

Freshman Workshop

Elective 9

This course is designed to help first year students adjust to the HFA environment, develop a better understanding of the learning process, and acquire essential academic survival skills. 

High School Readiness / High School Success

Elective 9, 10

High School Readiness focuses on individual and small-group instruction to help students develop their skills in math, reading, and writing.  Students receive an individualized learning plan tailored to their needs.  These needs are addressed using a combination of traditional approaches and technology.                                     

Life Skills

Elective 11, 12

This course is designed to increase student knowledge and skills necessary for everyday living. The course emphasizes goal-setting, decision making and problem solving, communication, healthy lifestyles and relationships, nutrition, personal safety, citizenship and consumerism. 

Resource Room

Elective 9,10,11,12    

Resource Room is an elective course with an emphasis on learning strategies and one-on-one assistance for students that struggle with organization, comprehension, completing and submitting assignments.  Students will learn how to effectively utilize their planners, study for academic achievement, complete and submit assignments.  They will also be given weekly updates on how they are doing in each class.  At the end of each trimester students will reflect and analyze what strategies worked for them, what they could have done more effectively and if those mistakes were detrimental to their academic success.