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Trustees Approve Three New Academic Programs, Including a Nursing Practice Doctorate

College of Health ProfessionsFerris State University’s Board of Trustees approved three new academic programs at its regular meeting on Friday, May 6 in Big Rapids.

Trustees approved a new Doctorate of Nursing Practice, in the College of Health Professions; an Associate of Applied Science in Professional Brew Management, in the College of Business; and an Associate of Arts in Psychology, in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education.

The Doctorate of Nursing Practice has been designed in response to changing healthcare environments and educational demands. The DNP is a post-MSN practice or clinical degree that is focused on systems leadership, resource allocation and research translation. The intent is to prepare practitioners to integrate into practice theory, nursing science and evidence-based knowledge to improve health care delivery, quality of care and patient outcomes. The proposed doctorate is designed as a three-year, online, part-time and 36-credit program.

“The development and implementation of the online Doctorate in Nursing Practice is a major development for the College of Health Professions,” said Paul Blake, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “It will serve students, the university and the state of Michigan well by preparing students for cutting-edge careers in health care.”

University officials plan to begin enrolling students in the Doctorate of Nursing Practice at the start of the Fall 2017 semester.

The Associate of Applied Science in Brew Management is expected to meet industry need for graduates with knowledge in brewing and fermentation, brewery and brewpub management, equipment and processes, safety and sanitation, entrepreneurship, small business operation, accounting, finance, marketing and distribution. The new associate degree complements Ferris’ Fermentation Science concentration in Industrial Chemistry.

“The Associate of Applied Science in Professional Brew Management will offer Ferris students a nationally-unique degree and provide entry into one of the fastest-growing segments of the restaurant industry,” Blake said.

Trustees also approved a request to change the Pre-Psychology program to an Associate in Arts in Psychology. Blake noted that this degree will “offer a seamless transition into the Bachelor of Science in Psychology.” The new degree will begin to enroll students at the start of the Fall 2016 semester.

Other items that came before the trustees:

  • The board revised the Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design program and closed the Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design. With the implementation of the revised curriculum, the AAS Graphic Design will be eliminated immediately. The majority of students who enter the program seek a bachelor’s degree. The revised bachelor’s degree is designed to guide students with greater effectiveness and efficiency, to provide timelier redirection of students who would benefit from seeking an alternative path. It will also offer more opportunities for gaining practical experience prior to employment. The revised program is expected to enroll students at the start of the Fall 2016 semester.

  • Trustees closed the Bachelor of Science in Energy Systems Engineering and the Bachelor of Arts in Biology degrees.

  • The board accepted the administration’s recommendation not to renew a charter school contract with Allen Academy, based in Detroit. The contract is scheduled to end on June 30.

  • The board appointed or reappointed five members of the boards of directors of charter school academies authorized by the university, additional Lighthouse Academy campuses in Grand Rapids, Mich. and in Hersey, Mich., at Eagle Village.

The trustees also extended the contract for Ferris President David Eisler, which runs five years, through June 30, 2021. In doing so, they increased his salary 2.25 percent to $269,885. Eisler is in his 13th year as president of Ferris.

Board Chair Paul Boyer spoke to the trustees’ annual evaluation of Eisler’s leadership.

“Again, this year, our vote showed confidence in the accomplishments of President Eisler, and his team,” Boyer said. “We couldn’t be happier with his leadership. We see a continuation of the good things that have been happening at the university.”

The trustees are Chair Boyer, of Ada; vice chair Erin R. Brown, of East Lansing; secretary Lori Gwizdala, of Bay City; immediate past chair Gary L. Granger, of Byron Center; Alisha M. Baker, of Mount Clemens; Ana L. Ramirez-Saenz, of Rockford; Rupesh K. Srivastava, of Wixom; and Arthur L. Tebo, of Walloon Lake.

The next regular meeting of the Board is Friday, Oct. 7 in Grand Rapids. Committee meetings are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. followed by the full board meeting at 11 a.m.