BIG RAPIDS – The Ferris State University Board of Trustees approved three international agreements during the board's regular meeting Friday, Nov. 7.
Educational cooperation agreements with Otemon Gakuin University in Japan and Hubei Polytechnic University in China were approved along with an agreement for cooperation and exchange with the Kuwait Cultural Office.
The five-year agreements between Otemon Gakuin and Hubei Polytechnic will provide opportunities for Japanese and Chinese students to study at Ferris, and for Ferris students to study in Japan or China. The three-year agreement between Ferris and the Kuwait Cultural Office will provide opportunities for Ferris to host Kuwait-sponsored students.
"The purpose of these agreements is to enhance the educational experiences and cultural understanding of students from both institutions," Ferris' Acting Vice President for Student Affairs Dan Burcham said.
Currently, the university has partnerships for semester-long study with 15 foreign higher education institutions in such countries as France, Germany and the United Kingdom, among others, he said, adding more than 120 Ferris students studied away during the 2007-08 academic year. During that same time, international students from more than 35 countries attended Ferris.
Terms of the five-year agreements are Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2013, between Ferris and Otemon Gakuin, and Dec. 1, 2008, through Dec. 1, 2013, between Ferris and Hubei Polytechnic. Ferris' three-year agreement with the Kuwait Cultural Office is Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2011.
The board also voted to approve two educational grants, including the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Grant, and the Michigan Center for Career and Technical Education Grant.
There is $223,418 in funding included in the Perkins grant, with Ferris matching $215,000, that will be used for academic support services and equipment purchases for the university's two-year occupational programs, College of Technology Dean Tom Oldfield said.
The Perkins funding is a recurring grant based on the number of Pell Grant recipients studying in Ferris' two-year occupational programs, with the university submitting an application for the funding yearly, he said. Such programs benefiting from the grant in the past include Radiography, Automotive Technology and Industrial Chemistry Technology.
"Ferris is committed to providing students with a real-world education that provides a seamless transition from the classroom to the workforce," Ferris President David Eisler said. "Funding programs such as the Perkins grant help strengthen learning opportunities in the classroom for Ferris students."
Funding for the MCCTE grant includes $359,850.
Trustees also approved Phase V of the Classroom Renovation Project, with a total projected cost not to exceed $970,000. To date, 63 classrooms and laboratories have been updated as part of the project.In other business, the board approved the following:
07 November, 2008