Steps to Learning Program

Steps to Learning logo

Walking + Talking + Learning!

We believe that recalling new learning promotes retention. And, retention leads to improved performance. What better way to increase your chances of retaining new knowledge than by sharing what you learned with others? Join the Steps to Learning program and see your learning and retention take on a new dimension. 

Program Modifications to Accommodate COVID-19

Due to social distancing measures meant to protect us from contracting the Coronavirus, Steps to learning partners are asked to discontinue walking together and find an alternative way to talk and learn. Participants are encouraged to continue to walk alone, if possible, and use alternative forms of communication to talk with their partner. This may be using the phone or online service such as Teams Meeting or Zoom. There is no expectation for you to walk and talk at the same time. Feel free to schedule your walk separate from your learning with your partner.

Are you looking for ways to connect with other employees at Ferris State University? The Steps to Learning program is a great way to network with other people while improving your overall wellness!

You may walk with someone you want to get to know better or ask us for assistance connecting you with someone.


Complete the pre-assessment survey to register for the program. The purpose of the assessment is to measure changes in your perception of how engaged you are at work. The information you provide will serve as a starting point as you journey through the program. It is meant to be a helpful tool for you to use as you reflect on your growth during and after the program.

You will be asked to take the survey again at the end of the program. This will allow you to measure your progress and it will let us know if the program is effective at improving employee engagement. No names will be shared in the final analysis of the data.

During registration you will be asked to provide your contact information, current workplace satisfaction, and some information about what you would like to get from this program. The survey will take 5-10 minutes to complete.

Register now and take the survey at the Steps to Learning registration site

Are you looking for an activity to engage a team of people? Ask us about ways you can utilize the Steps to Learning program as a team building activity. We are happy to work with you to create a custom time-frame and select the program discussion topic to meet your team's goals. 

Email [email protected] or call 231-591-2112 to explore options.

There are three learning outcomes for those who participate in the program:

  • Increase employee engagement outside the office either before work or during the lunch time (as measured by the pre- and post-assessment survey).
  • Decrease employee burnout likeliness as assessed by the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) pre- and post-program (pilot program participants only).
  • Demonstrate good listening skills during difficult conversations where the other party says they feel heard.

MBI Assessment

Want to know if this program is making a difference in your life? The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) is a tool you can use to self-assess whether you might be at risk of burnout. Participants have the option to complete the MBI assessment at the beginning and ending of the program.

Complete the MBI assessment at the MBI Assessment site. You will receive a custom report via email after completing the assessment so you can see if the program is making a difference in reducing your risk of burnout.

How does this program support the University Strategic Plan?

If you look through Part 1: Strategic Plan "Living Our Values," you will find this program aligns with the following strategic focus areas:

Ethical Community

Culture of trust - As an ethical commitment to our students and University community, our future Ferris practices openness and transparency.
Professionalism - We are our students' model of professionalism. Our future Ferris reflects behavior and practices that demonstrate the highest standards for our students to follow as they prepare for their professional careers.
Sustainability - We serve our students well when we are careful and efficient with our resources. Our future Ferris reflects a commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness.


Lifelong learning - Part of our mission is to provide lifelong learning for our students and communities. We see a future Ferris where providing lifelong learning, in all of its forms, is a deeper and richer part of who we are.


Professional development - Our students thrive when they are able to learn from and be surrounded by individuals who are also continuously learning and growing. Our future Ferris provides ample opportunity and support for a variety of development opportunities.

How does the program work?

Register and complete the pre-assessment survey at the Steps to Learning registration site.

Participants will be given a special participant punch card. After walking, participants will stop by Prakken 150 with their Steps to Learning punch card to receive a card punch or stop by the desk at the check-in desk at University Center to receive a card punch if walking at the track.

Participants will earn one punch on their punch card for each day they participate in the program. Those participating in the wellness program earn one day they can log as a part of their wellness activities.

Once the punch card is filled (16 punches), you will earn a certificate of achievement and a steps pin for each card completed and be entered into a prize drawing at the end of each semester the program is offered. 

Where do I get my Steps to Learning punch card?

Participants can pick up a punch card and learn more about the program from the Staff Center for Training & Development in the Prakken building, room 150. Or contact Jody at [email protected] or call 231-591-2112 to request a card be mailed to you. 

If you are unable to get a punch card, keep track of your activities and email [email protected] when you complete 16 walks.

Can I complete more than one punch card?

Yes! You can complete as many cards as you can in the 16 weeks of the program. The more cards you complete, the more chances you have to win the drawing prizes!

What if I don't complete all 16 punches on my card?

If you don't complete all 16 punches, save your punch card and continue the program next semester. 

When does the program begin?

The program begins on the first day of the semester and ends the last day of exam week.

  • Summer 2020 - May 18 to August 14, 2020
  • Fall 2020 - August 31 to December 18, 2020 

Where do I get the weekly discussion topic?

Topic ideas can be found on the Steps to Learning Topics page. It is up to your and your walking partner to choose a topic of interest to learn about.

Where can I walk with my walking partner?

You may walk where ever you choose or during specified hours at the University Recreation Center track.

You and your Steps to Learning walking partner will need to stop by the Staff Center for Training & Development in the Prakken building, room 121 to get your Steps to Learning card punched after your walk if you are not using the University Recreation Center track.

The track at the University Recreation Center is available for you to walk for free from 6:00 to 7:30 am or 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. You will need to sign in and present your Steps to Learning punch card at the front desk. After your walk, stop by the desk next to the track or at the front counter and ask the person to punch your card.

What if I don't work on the main campus?

Anyone who would like to participate from an off-campus location should contact the Staff Center to sign up and discuss options that work for them.

What's in it for me?

There are many different benefits to participating in this program:

  • Improve your health
  • Decrease your chances of burnout
  • Improve your active listening skills
  • Engage with other people who work at Ferris
  • Earn one day towards your wellness program activities
  • Enter the prize drawings. The more punch cards you complete, the more chances you have to win!
  • Earn a certificate of achievement
  • Receive a pin for your professional development lanyard

Other information

Do you have questions that weren't answered here? Stop by Prakken 150 or contact us by phone at 231-591-2112 or email [email protected] to learn more about the program.

Persons unable to walk or with a disability may choose another form of exercise that works for them.

Anyone with a disability who needs special accommodations to participate in this program should call Jody at 231-591-2112 or email [email protected]