BIG RAPIDS – The Higher Learning Commission has extended Ferris State University’s accreditation to include the Educational Doctorate in Community College Leadership, which was created to help prepare the next generation of community college leaders tackle an increasingly complex set of educational challenges.
Applications for the program are now being accepted and reviewed for the inaugural cohort, who will begin classes this summer.
The Educational Doctorate in Community College Leadership combines courses from the colleges of Business, Education, Arts and Sciences, and Professional and Technological Studies. With a business core and interdisciplinary approach, this innovative degree will help assure that the future leaders of Michigan’s 28 community colleges are as well-prepared for those challenges as possible.
“The unique emphasis of this program fits nicely with Ferris State University’s mission of preparing the state’s citizens for successful careers that will shape the future of Michigan,” Ferris Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Fritz Erickson said. “Ferris is well-suited to offer this degree based upon its career-oriented, broad-based approach to education.”
Approved by Ferris’s Board of Trustees in December 2009, several constituents internally and externally have worked to create this degree option, including past Ferris presidents Dr. Robert Ewigleben and Dr. J. William Wenrich.
“Community colleges are, by necessity, agile institutions,” Ewigleben said. “Students
graduating from this program will demonstrate the skills necessary to lead these responsive
institutions. The national advisory board of pre-eminent community college leaders
wanted a program that would address the real world of a leader in today’s community
college, and Ferris is providing it. In five years, graduates from this program will
be leaders of distinction across the country.”
Added Wenrich, “When asked to lead the advisory board in the development of this degree, I jumped at the chance. As a former Ferris president, I believe strongly in the university’s mission of real-world, career-oriented education.
“As a longtime community college leader, I also realize that a program focused on applications to the community college will develop exemplary leaders,” Wenrich said. “Ferris State University and a new doctoral degree preparing community college leaders is a natural partnership. Building from the ground up as an interdisciplinary, applied degree results in a cutting-edge program that will soon gain national and international attention for the caliber of its graduates.”
Ferris President David Eisler agrees Ferris is well-suited to offer this degree.
“Unlike other higher education degrees in the state, the Ferris Doctor of Education degree focuses clearly on the community college. With our distinctive mix of degrees, from associates on up, Ferris understands well what community colleges face,” Eisler said. “As our university celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, our founding principles of opportunity and industry continue to guide the creation of such needed programs of study.”