The reputation of Ferris State University’s School of Education was strengthened as its Master of Science in Educational Leadership was approved by the Michigan Department of Education. The approval allows program graduates to apply for kindergarten through 12th grade administrative certification in the state of Michigan.
“The process of developing the program has reaffirmed the practices and philosophies I held as a high school principal, and has allowed me to continue to grow professionally in order to more successfully mentor my graduate students,” said Cheryl Thomas, an associate professor in Ferris’ School of Education who was instrumental in the program’s development.
A team of faculty, staff and former administrators collaborated to develop an innovative master’s degree program that would examine K-12 administrative issues through four lenses: leadership, management, risk management and the future.
Ferris’ Master of Science in Educational Leadership includes a structured six-credit internship that students complete in two semesters. As part of this internship, students apply the administrative concepts and skills that they have acquired through their coursework at their local district under the supervision of both local administrators and a university supervisor. The internship integrates projects and concepts from all courses. The degree program blends Web-based learning with face-to-face work inside classrooms for students.
“The faculty, particularly Cheryl Thomas, worked very hard to develop this innovative principal certification program which prepares school leaders for the 21st century,” said Michelle Johnston, dean of the College of Education and Human Services. “Graduates from this program will be effective principals with the skills, knowledge and strategies to make a difference in their schools.”
Ferris programs have been well reviewed by students for, among other aspects, their quality and flexibility.
“I started the journey towards a master’s degree at Ferris State University with the vision of becoming a more informed educator,” said Brady Flachs, a graduate of the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. “Not only did I walk away feeling more knowledgeable but also with a feeling of empowerment and enlightenment. I was greeted with a program that allowed me to customize my education to meet my needs and interests.”