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Students engaged in hands-on learning

Academic Programs and Offerings

Strategic Goal

Balancing distinctive and comprehensive programs, Ferris will offer innovative educational experiences that blend theory and practice, allowing graduates to flourish in our dynamic, global society.

Initiative 1

Encourage, facilitate, and support innovative degree initiatives in emerging fields.

Action Steps

APO 1.1

Facilitate timely exploration and examination of new program ideas, offerings, and delivery mechanisms through a university-wide think-tank that includes student perspectives. 

APO 1.2

Draft and employ a strategic plan for the future of online education, informed by a review of best practices as well as the effectiveness of the current administrative structure and budget model.

Signs of Success

  • A think-tank group is holding regular meetings by Spring 2020 and is working to develop suggestions for new programs and offerings.
  • A strategic plan for online education, crafted with input from across the University community, has been adopted by Spring 2020.

Progress and Updates


Initiative 2

Honor our commitment to lifelong learning.

Action Steps

APO 2.1

Develop new programs and offerings for professional growth and retraining of adult learners and other new audiences, and enhance recruitment, access, and campus-support for these populations. 

APO 2.2

Tailor offerings to serve Ferris alumni in their commitment to life-long learning and career enhancement.

APO 2.2

Create a coordinated social media strategy to promote lifelong learning programs and offerings to audiences not currently reached.

Signs of Success

  • The number of previously underserved students enrolled has increased.
  • The number of programs engaging alumni via continuing education or lifelong learning opportunities increases within three years.

Progress and Updates

Report Initiative 2 Progress

Initiative 3

Spur a culture of data-driven decision making across the University.

Action Steps

APO 3.1

Adopt a standardized set of practices, definitions, and key indicators to be used for decision-making processes within Academic Affairs and ensure that decision-makers have free and timely access to relevant University data sets.

APO 3.2

Working with the Academic Senate, delineate responsibilities of Academic Program Review (APR) and University Curriculum Committee (UCC) chairs and members.

Signs of Success

  • The first data-into-action award recipient is named by Spring 2020.
  • Clear and transparent guidelines for APR and UCC chairs have been accepted by the Senate and are in operation by Fall 2020.
  • By academic year 2020-2021, a transparent wide-ranging data repository exists for academic program review, curricular improvements, process recommendations, and follow-through.
  • A ‘common data set’, managed and supplied by Academic Affairs or other University data center, is fully developed and automatically supplied to programs as they begin self-studies for Academic Program Review.

Progress and Updates


Initiative 4

Assess and review processes for academic programs and offerings to increase effectiveness.  

Action Steps

APO 4.1

Create a ‘program improvement center’ that can support programs’ efforts to improve and promote themselves.

APO 4.2

Work with UCC and other relevant curriculum committees to ensure that students entering a program with existing credits can complete the program in appropriate time and without excess credits.

Signs of Success

  • Academic department and program personnel are trained on web and social media analytics practices and can track user engagement and guide program marketing.
  • At least three programs deemed in need of help by the Academic Program Review Committee are provided with marketing in 2020-21.
  • A metric for measuring unmet demand in majors and programs has been created and is in use to help guide resource allocation by 2021.

Progress and Updates


Initiative 5

Foster a rich, student-centered University educational experience. 

Action Steps

APO 5.1

Utilize institutional structures, budget models, facilities, technologies, and events to encourage high-impact educational practices and facilitate meaningful cross-collaboration (such as team teaching, joint programming, interdisciplinary curriculum, professional development, and co-curricular learning).

APO 5.2

Conduct a review of the university course scheduling matrix and types of course offerings to ensure that we are meeting the needs of existing and target student populations.

Signs of Success

  • A metric for measuring the use of high-impact practices across campus has been developed and is in use across campus by 2020.
  • After academic year 2020-2021, awards are offered at the department, college, and university level to reward and encourage the expansion of high-impact practices.
  • A metric to measure student satisfaction with course offerings (time, place, and modality) has been developed by 2020 and is used to adjust course offerings where necessary.

Progress and Updates


Highlights and Achievements