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Ferris Pilot Course at Grand Rapids' Harrison Park Elementary Helps Fuel College-Going Culture

Ferris State UniversityGRAND RAPIDS – Parents of Harrison Park Elementary School students are celebrating completion of their first college course, and Ferris State University is celebrating their efforts to imagine more.

An open house will take place Thursday, May 23 to mark the success of Care 102 at the Grand Rapids elementary school, where it began in January as a pilot career-exploration course.

Professor Gloria Lukusa-Barnett and E-Learning specialist Mary Holmes adapted an online career course currently offered at Ferris to better suit the needs of non-traditional students. It was offered to parents of students in the Harrison Park Challenge Scholars Program, an initiative by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation and Grand Rapids Public Schools to build a college-going culture.

“We hope offering a college experience to the parent will establish the value of an education within the family,” said Donna Ewigleben, Community Outreach coordinator at Ferris Grand Rapids. “They are seeing the possibilities. This is Ferris at its best.”

During the semester-long mixed-delivery course, parents have been challenged to explore career development as a lifelong process through self-assessment inventories, online web resources about various careers, individual projects and the opportunity to develop guided decision-making skills. Sessions have been offered after school hours at Harrison Park, with childcare offered to those interested. Students who successfully completed the course earned three transferrable college credits.

President David Eisler, who will be attending Thursday’s celebration, called Care 102 “a powerful example of Ferris State University’s commitment to helping people of all ages understand and prepare for successful careers.”

“We are pleased to partner with Harrison Park Elementary School and their effective efforts to promote the importance of a college education,” Eisler said.

Ferris hopes to expand the program and offer it at other need-based schools in Grand Rapids.

For more information on CARE 102, please email Ewigleben at [email protected].