Ford Next Generation Learning

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Teacher Development/Training
Hands on/Project-Based
Informal /Out of School

Target Audience

All Students


Black/African American


Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

American Indian/Alaskan Native

English Language Learner

Low Socio-Economic Status

Teachers/Educational Leaders




Grades 6 - 8
Grades 9 - 12

 Accomplished link

Program Overview

Ford NGL mobilizes educators, employers, and community leaders to prepare a new generation of young people who will graduate from high school ready for college, careers, and life—prepared to compete successfully in the 21st century economy.

Ford Next Generation Learning (Ford NGL) applies a collaborative, community-driven approach to transform the high school experience. Created and managed by Ford Motor Company Fund, Ford NGL supports a career academy model that engages students with the real world problems and challenges faced by employer partners. Ford NGL provides a framework and roadmap for helping communities transform their high schools into career-themed academies where students are learning their academics through the lens of a career. Member communities form a network dedicated to preparing students for college, career, lifelong learning, and leadership.  Ford NGL’s network consists of over 40 communities who learn from each other and encourage continuous improvement in student, workforce, and economic development outcomes. In MI, we are in currently in Romeo and are having discussions with Taylor, Kent County ISD, and Grand Rapids. 

Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI), a partner in this work, is a non-profit organization that is redesigning how we learn and lead. Founded in 2003 by The Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company Fund, HFLI provides workshops, programs and site coaching that pair effective education and human-centered design approaches, empowering learners to lead transformational change in, with and for their community. HFLI has directly served more than 10,000 adults and youth in K-20 education, workplace initiatives and out-of-school programs over the past three years. Given the location of its headquarters in Dearborn, a majority of its learners - youth and adult - are from Michigan. HFLI is hosting and will continue to grow the number and location of educator professional development workshops with a particular interest in serving youth and educators of color.

Funders and Partners

Ford Motor Company Fund



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Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.