Skip to Top NavigationSkip to ContentSkip to Footer

Trustees Approve New Academic Degree Programs at Regular Meeting

Ferris State UniversityGRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees approved two new academic degrees at its regular meeting on Thursday, Oct. 8 at the Woodbridge N. Ferris Building in Grand Rapids.

The trustees approved a new Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy, as proposed by the College of Health Professions, and a redesigned Insurance and Risk Management degree for the College of Business.

The Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy degree is designed to complement the current associate degree in Respiratory Therapy. The state of Michigan has 13 schools that offer the associate degree, but none currently offer the baccalaureate program. The degree will feature two areas of specialization: advanced clinical practice and leadership. Working professionals who have completed the associate degree would be prime candidates for the new bachelor’s program. The Commission on Accreditation of Respiratory Care has set a year 2020 goal to require a baccalaureate degree for entry into the profession. Current national standards for examination require a minimum of an associate degree in order for a student to obtain Certified Respiratory Therapist or Registered Respiratory Therapist credentials.

“This new degree will provide a seamless transition for students who complete or have completed our associate degree program prior to 2020, and it will be an already established degree once the 2020 standard goes into effect,” said Paul Blake, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Curriculum has been reviewed and recommended by the University Curriculum Committee, the Academic Senate, Blake and President David Eisler. The university’s plan is to begin to enroll students at the start of the Spring 2016 semester.

The redesigned Insurance and Risk Management degree will offer a major, minor and certificate programs. The new degree will accomplish several key goals, including: a rebranding effort that includes a name change to Risk Management and Insurance to emphasize risk management, alignment of curriculum with professional designations, elimination of redundancy in course content and program revision that will fill significant content gaps, enhancement of the scope of the program to better appeal to students with specialized interests, and an effort to strengthen program differentiation and distinctiveness.

Currently, Ferris is the only public university in the Lower Peninsula that offers a risk management and insurance program. The program dates back to 1935.

The university’s goal is to implement the program beginning in Spring 2016.

Included among action items, the trustees approved:

  • Two new appointments to the boards of directors of Ferris-authorized charter school academies;
  • Ratification of 11 exigent appointments of members of the boards of directors of three Ferris-authorized charter school academies: Great Lakes Anchor Academy, of Clinton Twp.; Schools for the Future of Detroit, in Detroit; and Voyageur Academy, of Detroit; and
  • The addition of pre-kindergarten for Huron Academy, of Roseville; a name change of Consortium College Preparatory High School, in Detroit, to Voyageur College Prep High School; the merger of Schools for the Future of Detroit and Detroit Delta Preparatory Academy for Social Justice, both based in Detroit; and termination of the charter contract with Great Lakes Anchor Academy.

The trustees are chair Paul E. Boyer, of Ada; vice chair Erin R. Brown, of East Lansing; secretary Lori Gwizdala, of Bay City; immediate past chair Gary L. Granger, of Byron Center; Alisha M. Baker, of Mount Clemens; Ana L. Ramirez-Saenz, of Rockford; Rupesh K. Srivastava, of Wixom; and Arthur L. Tebo, of Walloon Lake.

The next regular meeting of the trustees is Friday, Dec. 18 in Big Rapids. Committee meetings begin at 3 p.m. followed by the full board meeting at 4 p.m.

PHOTO CAPTION: The Ferris State University Board of Trustees approved two new degree programs that could appeal to both current and future students.