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Ferris Trustees Endorse Five New Degree Programs

pictureBIG RAPIDS – Ferris State University's Board of Trustees today (April 9) approved three new bachelor's degrees in Energy Systems Engineering, Molecular Diagnostics and Allied Health and an associate degree in Dietary Food Service Management. All degrees will be offered beginning in Fall 2010.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science degree in Energy Systems Engineering will help fill a demand for engineers trained in both traditional and alternative/renewable energy fields. Students have the option of specializing in Building Energy Systems, Alternative Energy Systems or Energy Generation and Distribution Systems.

"The launch of this new degree program will significantly impact career opportunities for our graduates who will meet a global need for engineers who can develop and implement alternative/renewable energies and energy efficiency related technologies in buildings and products," said Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Ferris also will become the only university in Michigan to offer a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Diagnostics degree that will meet national and regional demands for certified, professionally educated and technically competent people to work in the field of genetics testing.

"This new degree will enable Ferris to become a recognized leader in providing clinical laboratory education and will particularly fill a need for this type of training in West Michigan," said Erickson.

Students will be required to take classes on the Big Rapids campus during their first three years and then complete their fourth year of classes and a clinical internship at FSU-Grand Rapids.

"The growth of personalized medicine, which allows an individual to have a panel of genetic tests performed to determine predisposition to disease, has increased the demand for practitioners with the skill set provided by this degree," said Erickson.

Associate degree graduates in various allied health professions, who until now had no discipline-specific bachelor's degree available to them, have access to a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health degree program offered on and off campus and online. The curriculum is designed as a "+2" degree, allowing students to transfer 60 credits of professional coursework into the degree program.

An Associate in Applied Science in Dietary Food Service Management degree will meet a growing demand for employees with dietetic and nutritional training and certification.

The interdisciplinary program, developed by the colleges of Business and Allied Health Sciences, will prepare graduates to run the food service operation with acute and long-term care facilities and provide patient services under the supervision of a registered dietician. Coursework covers basic nutrition, facilities design, menu planning, basic food production, sanitation procedures, purchasing, human resources, cost control, nutrition assessment and diet therapy, as well as 400 hours of supervised clinical experience. Graduates will be eligible and prepared to take the certification exam become a certified dietary manager through the Dietary Managers Association.

In other business, the Board of Trustees approved the following:

  • The closure of the Bachelor of Science in Management degree addresses the issue that there is not a significant difference between the management and the business administration bachelor's degrees. The inclusion of management courses in the business administration degree will enrich this degree offering for all students;
  • A Student Fees Committee-endorsed tuition rate of $530 per credit hour for the new Doctorate in Community College Leadership which will be offered beginning this summer;
  • Receipt of a $173,571 American Councils for International Education Grant for the Journey to Jordan six-week summer program for high school students who will study Arabic at the Qasid Institute as part of a U.S. State Department initiative to increase the number of critical language speakers in the United States;
  • The extension of contracts for two FSU-authorized charter schools, including Marshall Academy in Marshall (K-12) and Northridge Academy in Flint (K-8) through June 20, 2015; and the reappointment of 22 board of directors to 16 Ferris charter school academies throughout Michigan.