Academic ExcellenceAcademic 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 Action Steps Progress and Updates

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.

Submit Progress and Updates to Initiative 1 Action Steps

Signs of Our 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 -

  • A draft of a strategic plan for future of online education is being incorporated into the comprehensive strategic plan for Extended and International operations to ensure that common initiatives and resources are shared. Goals, action items, and signs of success are based on both existing endeavors and best online practices implemented by successful online programs at peer institutions.
  • Encouraging academic-driven innovation that supports the mission and strategic plan of Ferris State University is the purpose of the Innovation Center and its Innovation Development Grant. Innovative projects or initiatives supported include encouraging and facilitating innovative degree initiatives in emerging fields and promoting and advancing innovative experiences that blend theory and practice. 
    Link
  • The creation of an online Think Tank group is being explored by the eLearning Management Advisory Team (EMAT) and is being included in the Extended and International Operations strategic plan. Market research from EMSI will be used by the Think Tank to make recommendations about new programs ideas, offerings, and delivery mechanisms.
  • HatchEd is Ferris State University's celebration of innovation in higher education. It is a conference for innovators and would-be innovators from every college and department across Ferris. HatchEd empowers exploration and creates an environment where you can make unexpected connections. HatchEd occurs annually and will take place on February 18, 2021.

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

Submit Progress and Updates to Initiative 2 Action Steps

Signs of our 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 -

  • Ferris State University realized a years long community partnership on the southwest side of Grand Rapids, by moving into two classrooms at a new Grand Rapids Public Schools middle/high school. The space will be utilized to offer dual enrollment, after school programming and adult education opportunities to the largely Latinx and African American communities nearby. All programs will be provided in partnership with community based organizations with the sole purpose of making all of the resources of the University accessible to this thriving community that has often been disconnected from higher education opportunities.
  • The DCCL program has been working on various career development opportunities for graduates. These include monthly webinars, as well as interview prep sessions. 
  • The Long-Term Care Certificate within the College of Health Professions is being revised so that those working within Long-Term Care facilities can enroll in all four required courses within the same semester. This will allow these individuals an opportunity to advance within their profession and sit for a state certification exam in a more timely manner.
  • The University’s Alumni Association has partnered with three vendors, TalentMarks, ClearlyNext and Alumni Learning Consortium, to offer alumni access to national virtual career fairs, career coaching services and monthly webinars that promote life-long learning, career advancement, professional development and navigating different health, family and life stages.
  • The College of Pharmacy offers an annual continuing education program marketed to our alumni. We also have many alumni volunteer preceptors and provide periodic training programs for them.

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.

Submit Progress and Updates to Initiative 3 Action Steps

Signs of our 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 -  
  • The first data-into-action award recipient is named by Spring 2020.

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.

Submit Progress and Updates to Initiative 4 Action Steps

 Signs of our 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 - 

  • The Hospitality Management Program Advisory Board serves as a vital component of our 'program improvement center. AB engagements include member review of proposed and existing curriculum to provide recommendations on opportunity for improvement and alignment with industry need, industry partnership development for experiential education initiatives, and direct student assessment via the annual Bulldogs to Business (B2B) conference. The B2B conference hosted on our campus gives our board members direct and personalized engagement with our students. This time with our students and the resulting insight has dramatically improved their perception of the program strengths and threats. The program has implemented countless curriculum enhancements directly resulting from board member feedback and direction. We have also experienced increased student engagement at the event and during the academic year resulting from the education and mentoring the students receive from the board member's presentations and sessions at the conference.
  • The Hospitality Management Program launched a Specialized Management concentration in 2015 that has recently developed into increased opportunity for transfer partnerships. In 2020, several articulation agreements have been established to provide students coming to Ferris with a certificate or a two year degree from partner institutions the opportunity to complete the degree with without excess credits and within timely expectations.

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.

Submit Progress and Updates to Initiatives 5 Action Steps

Signs of our 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

  • Encouraging academic-driven innovation that supports the mission and strategic plan of Ferris State University is the purpose of the Innovation Center and its Innovation Development Grant. Innovative projects or initiatives supported include encouraging and facilitating innovative degree initiatives in emerging fields and promoting and advancing innovative experiences that blend theory and practice. Link

  • HatchEd is Ferris State University's celebration of innovation in higher education. It is a conference for innovators and would-be innovators from every college and department across Ferris. HatchEd empowers exploration and creates an environment where you can make unexpected connections. HatchEd occurs annually and will take place on February 18, 2021.

  • Ferris State University realized a years long community partnership on the southwest side of Grand Rapids, by moving into two classrooms at a new Grand Rapids Public Schools middle/high school. The space will be utilized to offer dual enrollment, after school programming and adult education opportunities to the largely Latinx and African American communities nearby. All programs will be provided in partnership with community based organizations with the sole purpose of making all of the resources of the University accessible to this thriving community that has often been disconnected from higher education opportunities. 

 

 
   

 

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***Last Updated 11/2020***