Developmental Curriculum

For program curriculum information contact:
Dr. Jason Bentley
Dean of Retention and Student Success
(231) 591-2428
[email protected]

For application, registration and orientation questions contact:
Shelly VandePanne
Director of Academic Student Success
(231) 591-2360
[email protected]

Developmental Curriculum Statement of Purpose

The Developmental Curriculum Department of Ferris State University's Retention and Student Success unit provides a variety of courses to students seeking to improve their academic readiness or to determine their career path. Its faculty are committed to developing and offering educational opportunities that prepare students for the academic challenges of university life. The services provided promote personal, academic, cultural and social growth according to the principles of adult learning and development.


Career Exploration (CARE) - A program designed for students who have not selected a program of study. Along with taking a course in career exploration, students are directed by faculty advisors into course work that fulfills the General Education requirements common to all FSU degree programs. Students also have the opportunity, in consultation with a faculty advisor, to select exploratory course work from a variety of fields of study to assist in career decision-making.

Directed Studies Program (DIST) - Directed Studies is a probationary program designed to help students obtain good academic standing and become eligible for acceptance into their desired program. All Directed Studies students, with the assistance of an academic advisor, are expected to develop an individualized program of study to reach eligible academic status. In addition, students are required to meet the conditions of the Directed Studies contract This is not a degree-granting program but rather a probationary program that provides academic support as the student works to make the necessary changes to qualify for his or her program of choice. The Directed Studies program includes two - 1 credit classes that help students strengthen their academic skills in a variety of topics. Students are required to take DIST 100 (Directed Studies Seminar). Students who maintain eligibility at Ferris but still cannot be admitted to their program of choice must continue in the Directed Studies program and take DIST 101 (Directed Studies Seminar 2).

General Studies Program (GNST) - The General Studies Program is for students who are admissible to Ferris State University but do not meet all eligibility requirements for the specific program they have chosen. The General Studies Program allows them an opportunity to earn credits that will make them eligible. Advisors from Retention and Student Success work closely with students to assist them in transferring to the program of choice as soon as possible while taking general education courses required for all degrees.