Developmental Curriculum

Developmental Curriculum Contact:

Shelly VandePanne
Director of Student Academic Affairs

Statement of Purpose

The Developmental Curriculum Department of Ferris State University's Retention and Student Success unit provides a variety of courses to students seeking to improve their academic readiness or to determine their career path. Its faculty are committed to developing and offering educational opportunities that prepare students for the academic challenges of university life. The services provided promote personal, academic, cultural and social growth according to the principles of adult learning and development.


  1. To improve basic college learning skills.
  2. To improve educational efficiency by assisting the University in retaining greater numbers of potentially successful students.
  3. To aid in the in-service of faculty who teach (outside our area) at-risk freshmen in making informed choices for textbooks and methods of content delivery.


  1. To provide reading classes that will increase reading skills for all Ferris students.
  2. To provide academic courses for first year students that will enhance their transition to college, including orientation classes.
  3. To provide intrusive academic advising that will guide students into appropriate academic courses that facilitate academic and personal growth.
  4. To provide career exploration classes to all students who may be undecided about their career goals.


Career Exploration (CARE) - A program designed for students who have not selected a program of study. Along with taking a course in career exploration, students are directed by faculty advisors into course work that fulfills the General Education requirements common to all FSU degree programs. Students also have the opportunity, in consultation with a faculty advisor, to select exploratory course work from a variety of fields of study to assist in career decision-making.

Directed Studies Program (DIST) - A program designed for transfer or former FSU students with less than a 2.0 GPA who do not meet the admission requirements of the specific program for which they originally applied. These students are expected to develop, with the assistance of their faculty advisor, an individualized program of study to strengthen their academic performance. In some cases, enrollment in foundation courses is necessary to enhance the student's potential for academic success.

General Studies Program (GNST) - The General Studies Program is for students who are admissible to Ferris State University but do not meet all eligibility requirements for the specific program they have chosen. The General Studies Program allows them an opportunity to earn credits that will make them eligible. Advisors from Retention and Student Success work closely with students to assist them in transferring to the program of choice as soon as possible while taking general education courses required for all degrees.

University College Program (UNCP) - A two-semester probationary program that assists first-year students who are ineligible for direct admission into other Ferris programs. The purpose of the University College Program is to help students become successful in college and enable them to transfer into the Ferris State program of their choice. Placement tests, ACT scores and previous high school work determine the courses required to complete the program. University College Program courses at the 100 level or higher may be applied toward elective credits in other programs. University College Program students are required to register for fall classes no later than the final session of summer orientation/registration. Failure to do so will delay enrollment in the University College Program to the following spring semester. Not currently open for new enrollments.