Ferris State University has been at the forefront of developing partnerships with communities across the state of Michigan.
That university-wide emphasis on collaboration is particularly evident in the city of Grand Rapids where Ferris is partnering with the West Michigan Hispanic Center to increase Latino participation in higher education. Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, and Don Green, vice president for Extended and International Operations, have been among Ferris’ leaders in these outreach efforts. Erickson is scheduled to discuss Ferris’ work to support the Talent 2025 initiative on Tuesday, March 6 in Lansing at an event titled “Community-University Partnerships Invested in Michigan’s Future.” The event is being hosted by the President’s Council of State Universities of Michigan in the rotunda of the Michigan State Capitol.
Talent 2025 is an initiative that is designed to attract, develop and retain a talented future workforce in Michigan through educational opportunities.
“Ferris State University supports the Talent 2025 initiative by seeking to provide educational opportunities for underserved populations across the state,” Erickson said. “Through our partnership with the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, Ferris faculty and administrators have engaged Hispanic high school students in the Grand Rapids area in a Stop Summer Learning Loss program which provides career-focused educational activities and encourages participation in higher education.”
The event is designed to highlight the work that the state’s 15 public universities do for people in Michigan communities. PCSUM plans to showcase the impact the state’s public universities are having on the state’s economy through local and regional efforts that focus on business, entrepreneurial and workforce development. Ferris has been a leader in this effort through partnerships it has with state community colleges.
“We also provide convenient and affordable pathways to bachelor’s degrees through our 15 community college partnerships across the state of Michigan,” Erickson said. “We understand that education is the key to creating a strong, diverse workforce that will allow Michigan businesses to flourish in the future leading to prosperous local and state economies.”
In addition to Erickson’s presentation, Ferris will be represented by Stephen Durst, dean of the College of Pharmacy, and Robert Buckingham, associate dean of the Michigan College of Optometry during the poster presentation session which will feature top community-university initiatives. Buckingham and Durst will present on the “Cherry Street Health Services Collaborative,” where faculty members and students are working in a collaborative and interprofessional manner to improve the health of patients with multiple chronic conditions to emphasize preventative care and ease the burden on the health care system.