Ferris State University offers a unique opportunity for the challenge of creating a population of politically engaged college graduates. Our primary charge is to instill the ideas of a politically engaged populace throughout the curriculum, in a manner that creates in students a sense of “having a stake” in the political institutions of the society. This pedagogy will be included in many non-traditional arenas and beyond the expectations of general education course requirements.
The Political Engagement Project is designed to specifically include citizenship education and involvement in university classes.
Ferris State University is one of eight institutions in the United States selected to participate in Phase II of the Political Engagement Project sponsored jointly by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the New York Times. The initiative of the Project aims at the development of both pedagogy and research that is focused upon increasing political awareness and involvement among undergraduate students. Phase I of the Political Engagement Project sought to enhance student political engagement through individual courses. Phase II seeks to achieve that goal on a campus-wide basis.
At Ferris State University, we are implementing programs to educate citizens for active participation in democratic processes. Our educations activities include:
- Celebrating Founder’s Day
- Celebrating Constitution Day and Presidents’ Day
- Providing voter registration opportunities for students, staff and faculty.
- Hosting forums for candidates for public office and discussions of ballot issues and other election concerns.
- Re-designing course curriculum to help students apply knowledge for political engagement.
- Creating service learning opportunities throughout academic programs.
“Our commitment to an engaged campus recognizes that much of learning happens outside the classroom. We will work to find ways to connect these learning activities and in doing so create meaningful opportunities for students, staff and faculty to become engaged in our campus, community and region. At the center of these efforts will be an emphasis on citizenship and diversity.” – David L. Eisler, President, Ferris State University.