For the fifth year, Ferris State University’s School of Education has received funding in the amount of $47,000 from the Martin Luther King Jr./Cesar Chavez/Rosa Parks-Morris Hood Jr. Educator Development Program grant from the state of Michigan.
“This means that Ferris State University students will benefit from opportunities they might not otherwise have,” said Michelle Johnston, dean of Ferris’ College of Education and Human Services. “This initiative provides some very important funding that allows Ferris to continue to provide important access to educational opportunities for people from underserved populations.”
The Michigan legislature established the King/Chavez/Parks Initiative in 1986 after a statewide analysis of participation and graduation rates of the state’s most educationally disadvantaged students. The six primary components of the KCP Initiative are funded annually through the Michigan Higher Education Appropriations Act to address both the academic and nonacademic needs of the state’s at-risk students.
Opportunity and educational access are important cornerstones of the Ferris educational mission and Johnston believes that the continued funding from this grant will strengthen the university’s commitment to outreach to underserved populations in Michigan.
“This is really about helping students who are working hard and pursuing educational opportunities, but sometimes run into obstacles in their path,” said Johnston, who added that students oftentimes have financial hardships that make it difficult to pay for exams such as the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification. Funding from this grant can oftentimes assist students that encounter such challenges.
Through continued funding from MHED, Ferris wants to play a key role in increasing the number of students from underrepresented populations who enroll in and complete K-12 baccalaureate-level teacher education programs.
Ferris State University is a four-year public university with campuses in Big Rapids, Grand Rapids and satellite campuses across the state. Ferris offers more than 170 educational programs, including doctorates, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees, through nine academic colleges: Allied Health Sciences, Arts, Sciences and Education, Business, Education and Human Services, Michigan College of Optometry, Pharmacy, Engineering Technology, Kendall College of Art and Design, and the College of Professional and Technological Studies. Ferris also has a University College that provides students with instruction in study skills, reading, career exploration and features an Honors Program.