Retention and Student Success in Persistently Challenging Courses

In the face of intense national and state attention on graduation rates, student debt, and workforce development, it is clear that colleges and universities must develop means for all students to make timely and satisfactory progress toward degree completion without incurring burdensome debt.  While institutions work to make significant gains in student completion rates, it is equally important that they maintain their standards of rigor and excellence.

To help achieve these dual goals, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Fritz Erickson, in collaboration with Dr. William Potter, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL), are supporting initiatives created and offered by FCTL.  The Initiatives provide funding to:

  • Support faculty members who teach classes with historically high rates of D, F, and W grades; and
  • Decrease D, F, and W rates by a statistically significant percentage in select courses with historically high rates (“persistently challenging courses”).


More information about each initiative is on the FCTL website:

LEAPS: An Initiative that Supports Faculty Who Teach Persistently Challenging Courses: http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/academics/center/initiatives/pcc/leaps.htm

Focus on Student Success Grants Program: http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/academics/center/initiatives/focusonstudentsuccess/background.htm