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Ferris, Rockford Public Schools Announce Early College Program

Ferris State UniversityVIDEO: Woodbridge Ferris Early College Program

ROCKFORD – A shared commitment to higher-education access has set the stage for a new partnership between Ferris State University and Rockford Public Schools. At a press conference at Rockford on Tuesday, June 4, Ferris and RPS announced their partnership on offering the opportunity for Rockford High School students to benefit from a new Ferris program, the Woodbridge Ferris Early College Program that will allow students to take general education courses and receive academic credit that will transfer to colleges and universities. 

“Ferris State University is excited to partner with the Rockford Public Schools in providing this innovative access to a college education,” said Ferris President David Eisler. “It has been a pleasure to work closely with Dr. Michael Shibler, Rockford public School Superintendent. He is a strong advocate for quality education and this would not have been created with his strong leadership, vision and support.”

The Woodbridge Ferris Early College Program will provide students with an opportunity to earn college credit through dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment classes offered at Rockford High School. For the pilot program, Rockford will offer four concurrent enrollment courses through Ferris. The program follows the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships concurrent enrollment model. As a part of that model, high school instructors participating in the program are approved and trained by Ferris to ensure that specific criteria mandated by university accreditation, Ferris policy, NACEP and faculty credentialing requirements are met.

Superintendent Shibler endorsed the Woodbridge Ferris Early College Program as a wonderful opportunity for Rockford students. 

“This pilot program is another forward thinking and innovative example of expanding opportunities for our students,” Shibler said. “Rockford Public Schools is committed to building quality schools and quality programs; this pilot is another example of just that.  Rockford is fortunate to be working with Ferris State University on such an exciting new pilot program which benefits and challenges our students to become even more college ready.”

A major benefit of the program is the opportunity it provides students to reduce the cost of a college education.

“This agreement will allow qualified Rockford High School students to begin work on their general education credits, reducing their time to earning a degree and reflecting our strong efforts to reduce student debt,” noted President Eisler. “As such it creates a smooth transition from high school to college. This agreement demonstrates a shared commitment, from Rockford High School and Ferris State University, to increasing access to education of the highest quality.”

The program is set to begin in Fall 2013.