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Enhancing Student Learning and Success in Persistently Challenging Courses Grants Program

Photo of graduating student from 2022 Winter Commencement

Photo: 2022 Winter Commencement Image 254 by FSU SmugMug

Why this Grants Program? 

“Opportunity.” “Learning.” “Excellence.” These are three of the six core values that define Ferris State University. While these values have defined the institution throughout its history, they are particularly relevant today in face of the increased and intense national attention on student graduation rates, student debt, and workforce development. Colleges and universities, while maintaining the academic integrity of their courses and programs, are under increasing pressure to develop means for enabling all students to make timely and satisfactory progress toward degree completion without incurring burdensome debt.  

There also exists a compelling call in higher education to improve student learning, equity, and success in courses in which a significant percent of students consistently attain grades of D or F or withdraw from the course. In FCTL, we use the term “persistently challenging courses” (PCCs) to describe such courses, including courses in which a disproportionate percentage of students in specific demographic groups (e.g., students of color, female students) receive grades of D or F or withdraw (hereafter referred to as “DFW”).  

This grants program is one small effort to respond to these needs and opportunities. This program aims to increase student success in PCCs, a goal rooted in the belief that teaching and learning are challenging endeavors that lie at complex intersections of individual, institutional, and social factors. Further, learning environments and experiences must be equitable, inclusive, learner-centered, and informed by what is known about how people learn.  

We, the staff and faculty in FCTL, wish to collaborate with and support you in answering this call. FCTL values your efforts to close equity gaps, promote inclusive excellence in teaching, and support the academic success of a greater number of students. We believe such work is a powerful expression of our Core Values and aligns with the Ferris Equity Initiative and several key targets in the Ferris Forward Strategic Plan


While we are not accepting applications at this time, more information about the grants program, the Spring 2023 application form, and review criteria are found here. We also provide answers to frequently asked questions here

Please reach out to us in FCTL at 231.591.3826 or [email protected] with any questions you have.