Before coming to Ferris State University and the College of Education and Human Services as Associate Dean in 1999, Dr. Johnston was the Executive Director of a Northern Lower Michigan Learning Consortium, a grassroots coalition of universities, community colleges, and intermediate school districts. This coalition was organized to improve professional development opportunities for educators in a region covering over one-third of the geographic area of Michigan.
As the Associate Dean, Dr. Johnston worked in the Student Academic Affairs Office of the College of Education and Human Services where she assisted students from the four departments of the College and was the chair of several committees, including the College Curriculum Committee and Student Advisory Council. During that time period, Dr. Johnston wrote and co-authored several proposals that were successful as well as being a co-Principal Investigator for a National Science Foundation (NSF) project and the co-Director of the Ferris State University Center for Economic Education. She organized and facilitated two successful rural research initiatives for the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory and Michigan Department of Education.
Dr. Johnston became Dean of the College of Education and Human Services in 2002. Since 2002, she actively manages the four departments within the college (School of Education, School of Criminal Justice, Television and Digital Media Production, and Recreation, Leisure Services and Wellness). As Dean, she supported the implementation of the Troops to Teachers program at Ferris State University.
Dean Johnston continues to write successful proposals for funded projects, engages in research in school districts, and publishes and presents at national and international conferences. With the assistance of her departmental administrators, she expanded the off-campus offerings and supports innovative professional faculty and administrator professional development. She is very active on the state-level, participating in many task forces and committees focusing on improving education and representing Ferris State University in several organizations. Dr. Johnston also participates as a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission.
Because she has a deep interest in the improvement of academic achievement for all students, Dr. Johnston is a Partner in Innovation and an active member of the Michigan Virtual University (Virtual High School) Advisory Council, Office of Educational Achievement and Assessment Advisory Council, and Rural Schools and Community Trust.
Professionally, Dr. Johnston represented Ferris State University at the Michigan ACE Network and the Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities (TECSCU). She is also a member of a national group, Women in the Deanship. Dr. Johnston was the Chair of the Michigan Deans’ Council and President of the Michigan Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE).
Her recent professional learning experiences include:
Dr. Johnston has a long history of writing successful proposals which funded over $20,000,000 for educational projects and research. Those projects included KLICK!, after school computer clubhouses for middle school students, Michigan Rural Systemic Initiative (NSF), Title II Teacher Quality Initiative, Project SHARE (Kellogg Foundation), Tech Prep, two rural school improvement initiatives, a technology integration initiative for K-12 teachers, and several Goals 2000 professional development grants for teachers wanting to improve their teaching of reading, writing, social science, science, and/or mathematics. She also developed a template for school districts to use as a guide for writing grants. School districts using that template were very successful in developing proposals for funding of reading projects. Recently, she received two King-Chaves-Parks Morris Hood Initiative grants to assist underrepresented students in the teacher preparation program.
In addition to writing grants, Dr. Johnston also evaluates several projects including:
Lastly, she also reviewed grant applications for the following funding sources:
Dr. Michelle Johnston, Dean
College of Education & Human Services
1349 Cramer Circle, BIS 607
Big Rapids, MI 49307
(231) 591-3648 (Phone)
(231) 591-3516 (Fax)