420 Oak Street
Big Rapids, MI 49307
When Ferris became a state institution in 1950, that charge to serve the community officially became part of our mission. That service has ranged from the more general — educating workers and citizens — to specific partnerships that reach into communities around the state.
In 1991, Ferris partnered with Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) to create the Applied Technology Center (ATC), allowing students to earn both an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree from Ferris, all in one location; a partnership that has helped both institutions facilitate dual enrollment and to share space and resources for more than 25 years. Thousands of people have been able to earn current and competitive education in a familiar and comfortable learning environment within the community in which they work and live.
This simple proposition — meeting needs where you find them — became the model for scores of subsequent partnerships. Ferris now offers programs online and at 24 locations throughout Michigan and partners with more than 100 nonprofit organizations around the state.
Now & Always: The Campaign for Ferris State University will expand the reach and impact of these collaborations.
Latinos are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Michigan — and the fastest growing. Studies show, however, that Latinos lag in education performance, income levels, employment rates and health status.
Campaign support will allow these multifaceted partnerships to grow, building a strong, diverse workforce that will allow West Michigan citizens, communities and businesses to flourish.
Plaza Roosevelt is a 5.5-acre community-informed redevelopment project in the southwest Grand Rapids Roosevelt Park neighborhood. Ferris at Plaza Roosevelt will bring both the University to the neighborhood and the neighborhood to the University, continuing to foster mutual understanding and respect. We envision this as a resource for our partners and neighbors, hosting existing programs and collaborating with neighborhood students and families to create new opportunities that inspire the pursuit of educational and career pathways aligned with the unique strengths and talents of participants.
Recently, FSU received a lead gift commitment to support Ferris at Plaza Roosevelt in Grand Rapids. Ferris leadership toured our classrooms located in the Southwest Community Campus High School on September 14, 2020, where final preparations for furnishings and programming implementation are underway. The two-year project lays the neighborhood groundwork for college access, career pipeline and adult education programming with a focus on diverse and equitable talent and workforce development.
Partners in this project include:
Ferris State University serves as the lead higher educational partner in this project.