Ferris relies on its institutional values of Collaboration, Diversity, Ethical Community, Excellence, Learning, and Opportunity. In addition to course-level outcomes, each course also addresses one or more of the Ferris values along with one or more program-level outcomes. Courses look at problems and issues community colleges face today and in the future, typically focusing on the question, "what would a leader need to know to address this issue?"
This three-year Ed.D. program is tailored to the needs of full-time working adults. Most of the program is online with one weekend meeting each fall and spring class and one-week summer face-to-face sessions. Summer sessions are in Big Rapids. Weekend face-to-face sessions in fall and spring semesters are held in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The program emphasis is practice informed by theory. Issues and problems within the courses are pertinent through the involvement of community college leaders as course developers and instructors.