Successfully blending academics and college preparation with the cultural experiences of the students, instructors and their communities, Ferris State University’s Woodbridge Promesa Summer Success Program is making an impact in West Michigan.
Twenty-four students in Holland, 15 in Grand Rapids and 12 in Hart are participating in this summer developmental education program.
“Our program increases access to higher education by connecting students’ cultural background and ancestry to the curriculum,” said Jessica Cruz, assistant director of Ferris’ Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center. “The professors meet course objectives by connecting the content to students’ experiences and identities.”
The program was successfully piloted in Summer 2013 in Grand Rapids. The first group of students completed the requirements, improved ACT scores and experienced a 78-percent growth in reading proficiency. Students are typically placed in a college remedial or developmental course if their ACT score is below 18.
The program is open to students who have just completed their junior year of high school and who meet program academic and ACT score requirements. Curriculum includes math, reading and a course designed to strengthen college study methods.
Tuition and materials for the eight-week course are covered by Ferris.
The program’s purpose is to allow eligible students to:
- Establish credit and proficiency in mathematics and reading at or beyond the developmental
level before starting postsecondary work;
- Enhance their admissions credentials so that they may qualify for admission to a postsecondary
institution of their choice;
- Enhance their knowledge of core subjects to improve their ACT scores for postsecondary
admission and financial aid;
- Complete up to nine college credits during the summer to enhance their prospects for
postsecondary completion, degree completion and reduce student debt; and
- Build on the students’ individual strengths to navigate the Higher Education system.