U Prep Schools designed pathways – in all three districts – where students are immersed in the exploration of unique future careers. Many of these career fields are in high demand and/or lack diversity in both race and gender including: Zoological & Aquarium Studies, Gaming, Material Science & Advanced Manufacturing, Urban Ecology, Law and Public Service related fields, and the Art & Design industry. Each pathway has a selected number of students and an accompanying partner – either a learning institution or an industry partner. Upon completion of course requirements for each pathway, students will have developed employable skills to enter into the workforce.

Zoology and Aquarium Studies Pathway

In partnership with Michigan State University faculty, through this pathway students take part in case study learning at the Belle Isle Park and Nature Center focused on urban ecosystems and the environmental impacts of the urban jungle, urban forest Biogeochemistry, forest hydrology, waste management, clean and free energy, water purification, biodiversity and the impact of human development on Detroit’s green infrastructure. Courses include Introduction to Urban Ecology, Forest Landscape, and Inventory, Plants, Ecology and People. Students are also offered paid summer internships with Belle Isle Park. The goal is to prepare students for jobs in forestry, wildlife specialty, and federal positions with the Department of Natural Resources.

Material Science & Advanced Manufacturing Pathway

In this pathway, students travel daily from campus to the Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFTⓇ ) Learning Lab – a $1 billion federally funded advanced lightweight materials center in the Corktown neighborhood of Southwest Detroit. Onsite, students participate in a two-part course learning experience, Material Science and Advanced Manufacturing. University Prep Science & Math High School (UPSM HS) invested in a comprehensive laboratory on the school’s campus to continue our hands-on approach to learning. Upon completion of all course requirements, students have the ability to apply for certifications in welding, CNC milling and troubleshooting programmable logic control systems.

Amazon Future Engineers Computer Science (Gaming) Pathway

Also known as our Gaming pathway, Amazon Future Engineers offers students the opportunity to acquire skills in game development, graphic design, audio production, web design, and will build an original multi-player game. Students enrolled in this pathway will take courses in Python and JavaScript (computer programming languages for game development and design), Intro to Gaming and Multimedia Productions. Upon completion of this pathway students will have an opportunity to secure a $40,000 scholarship to a four-year college or university and paid internship with Amazon.

Urban Ecology Pathway

In partnership with the Detroit Zoological Society and the Belle Isle Aquarium, the Zoology & Aquarium Studies track offers immersion in curriculum derived from a model used at one of Michigan’s local universities. Each of our three courses (Fundamental Genetics, Animal Physiology, Animal Ecology) is accompanied by a summer case study experience, completed at the Detroit Zoo. Students travel from campus to the Detroit Zoo several times each month, where class is conducted onsite. Through this partnership, students experience lectures from experts in genetics, virtual lab dissections, aquaculture case studies and internship opportunities.

Police Academy

This three-year experience is outlined as a course elective. It is designed to prepare students who have an interest in careers in law related fields. Students are introduced to Michigan Criminal Law and its applications, police procedures, police administration, criminal investigations, court procedures, first aid, CPR and the Criminal Justice System as a whole. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to enter the Detroit Police Academy.

College for Creative Studies Bridge Program

Our students at University Prep Art & Design (UPAD) High School have the opportunity to be selected for the College for Creative Studies (CCS) Bridge Program, where they receive student mentors, summer programming, pre-college programming, dual enrollment, and college scholarships. The Bridge program serves as the pipeline for UPAD scholars to CCS prep for college admissions as well as full and partial scholarship opportunities.

Detroit Medical Center - Senior Mastery Process Internship

The Detroit Medical Center (DMC) provides true learning experiences for the students. Students get real-world exposure and practical involvement with business professionals in various careers such as: business, culinary arts, surgical services, sports medicine, neurology, neonatal care, obstetrics and gynecology, among other careers in the medical field. Through this partnership, our students are able to merge the learning within the classroom and this practicum experience to form relationships beyond the walls of the school to make informed decisions about their future. 

Here’s how the Pathways Programs are preparing students for success.

U Prep pathways LIFT robotics student Dorian

I like Robotics! The knowledge I have gained in my Robotics class and onsite work at LIFT will be valuable in my future aspirations to enter the medical field, specifically in my plans to help others by manufacturing robotic body parts.

Dorian 9th grade Robotics/Intro to Engineering (LIFT)

U prep zoology pathways student Tatyanna

My Zoology course has peaked my awareness to the similarities between animal and human anatomy. Our structures are similar; we both have a heart, brain and lungs. The concepts that I’m learning now will help me in my future field of study, physical therapy.  

-Tatyanna 11th Zoology (Detroit Zoological Society Partnership)

University Prep Police Academy

The University Prep Police Academy offers valuable life lessons. I aspire to be a lawyer and the academy provides me with a good foundation for my educational journey.

Ariel (Center) 10th Grade Police Academy

U Prep Pathways amazon gaming student Dwayne

This class is so much fun! We learn about the industry, and genre of a game and how they work.  This class is preparing me to go into the gaming industry. 

-Dwayne 12th grade (Gaming)/Amazon Partnership