U Prep Schools Career Pathway Programs provide scholars an engaged and unique learning opportunity, taking them outside of the traditional classroom where they experience hands-on and project-based learning to prepare them for college and career. Within U Prep’s Career Pathways scholars are immersed in exploring unique career fields that are in high demand, and lack gender and racial diversity. A selected number of students are chosen for our pathways, and an accompanying partner – either a learning institution or an industry partner supports the area of study. Upon completion of requirements students leave with employable skills to enter into the workforce.

To learn more about U Prep’s Career Pathway Programs and the school campus where they are offered, click on the links below.

Computer Science/Gaming Pathway

Offered at the University Prep Science & Math High School

The Computer Science/Gaming Pathway, formerly supported by Amazon Future Engineers, offers students the opportunity to acquire skills in game development, graphic design, audio production, and web design. Students also learn how to build original games. Students enrolled in this pathway will take courses in Intro to Gaming, Python (computer programming languages for game development), and CS/Gaming Senior Capstone. In the Senior Capstone, students are challenged to develop an original game, work of programming with value in security or other arenas of computer science, and/or develop an app for general use.

College for Creative Studies Bridge Program

Offered at the University Prep Art & Design.

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.

Senior Mastery Process

Offered at the University Prep Art & Design High School.

As part of the graduation requirements at UPAD, seniors must complete The Senior Mastery Process, dedicated to allowing students to participate in self-discovery and personal development. Through this two-year discovery, students examine personal character traits and their effects on future goals. They establish goals and career exploration through a practical investigation of career opportunities, using various research methods. Included in this process is a second year, when students engage in a summer internship in an area of interest identified during year one. The final step, the Senior Defense, involves the students investigating a relevant problem within their career and developing a research question, that they later defend before a review panel of their peers, teachers and school leadership. Every student graduates with career development skills and a professional portfolio.

Ford Law Career Academy

Offered at the University Preparatory Academy High School.

This new four-year program launched this school year at the UPA High School. One of only two schools in the nation has been selected to offer this unique pathway program that will excite and empower students who want to prepare now for their future as a lawyer or explore legal career opportunities in a focused educational experience that includes; law-focused courses, job shadowing, support from lawyer-mentors, annual capstone projects, and more. Students will develop skills, mindsets, knowledge, and connections that all lawyers need for success. Students entering 9th grade can apply to this new program that is now offered at the UPA High School.

Engineering Pathway

Offered at the University Prep Science & Math High School

In the Engineering pathway, students engage in the engineering design process and understand how to construct the built environment. Robotics and mechanics are a part of the engineering process, both in constructing and using them. Students take courses in Intro to Engineering, Robotics, and Engineering Senior Capstone. In various courses, students have the opportunity to work on the Great Lakes Observing System grant through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an effort to collect water quality data in the Detroit River, one of the least-studied parts of the Great Lakes system. In the Capstone course, students work on an engineering project of their choice.

Material Science & Advanced Manufacturing Pathway

Offered at the University Prep Science & Math High School

In this pathway, students travel twice weekly 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. Students take courses in Materials Science and Advanced Manufacturing. University Prep Science & Math High School (UPSM HS) also 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.

Police Academy

Offered at the University Preparatory Academy High School.

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.

Urban Ecology Pathway

Offered at the University Prep Science & Math High School.

In partnership with Michigan State University faculty, through this pathway students take part in case study learning at the Belle Isle Conservancy 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, Forests and People, and Urban Ecology Senior Capstone. 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.

Zoology and Aquarium Studies Pathway

Offered at the University Prep Science & Math High School

In partnership with the Detroit Zoological Society and the Belle Isle Conservancy, the Zoology & Aquarium Studies pathway at UPSM High continues to offer immersion at the Zoo and on Belle Isle, lectures from experts in genetics, study of animal behavior, virtual lab dissections, aquaculture case studies, and internship opportunities. Students take courses in Intro to Zoology, Aquatic Studies, and Zoology Senior Capstone.

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

Jasmin 11th Grade – College for Creative Studies Bridge Program: ” The CCS Bridge Program expanded my knowledge of art and provided me artistic opportunities that I would not have gotten at another school. I love the connections and opportunities that the program provides for starving artists like myself.”

Gary 9th Grade – Ford Law Career Academy: “I am a good communicator and this pathway has helped me strengthen those communication skills in a law setting. Overall I think this program will help me accomplish my goals and help me stay on track academically.”

Taniya 11th Grade – Urban Ecology Pathway: “I aspire to be a Marine Biologist in the Navy. This program is preparing me for college-level science classes, and for a career in Marine Biology.”

Armani 10th Grade – Zoology and Aquarium Studies Pathway: “The reason I selected this pathway is because it is giving me a unique perspective on life sciences and is preparing me to become a pediatric nurse.”