Journey down “Thunder Road”

The story of a probationary student

There is a kid who showed up to Ferris State, blind as to what his educational talents were at the beginning of the 2012 fall semester.

All he knew is that he loved to write, yet he didn’t know what he was capable of, especially with his high school testing scores and grade point average.

The kid took a job at the campus newspaper as a sports reporter, hoping maybe this was the outlet that would show him success.

As he began attending classes, this probationary student, who had never performed well academically, suddenly found himself excelling to his standards. He went to class happily, and took in information like a sponge.

As his grades continued to rise, his writing perked up, for which he was praised by his co-workers, as he found his niche—and group of friends, for that matter.

An avid listener of ‘70s rock and roll, he had the tendency to drift away with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, often drawing from “Thunder Road” for inspiration.

He saw his journey through school as he saw “Thunder Road.” It was a struggle to coax the best out of himself and find his way.

The walls of his dorm room were plastered with news clippings which he had written. Articles by his favorite writers littered his desk, higgledy-piggledy amongst the school papers that had received top marks.

Unbeknownst to the university, they saved this kid from the academic abyss he was headed toward.

There wont be stories like this anymore, as Ferris State University is discontinuing its University College Program (UNCP), which admits struggling students and helps them along in an attempt to give these kids one chance at a big university.

For whatever reason, Ferris State has pulled the plug. The lights are all shut off and the door is locked on UNCP.

This program may not have produced our finest graduates. This program may not work for all. But wasn’t it Woodbridge Ferris who once said, “I have come here to help you, boys and girls, if you will let me”?

While our UNCP students will move forward and one day graduate from here—leaving this institution and joining the workforce with the skills taught to them—struggling students will be given the other cheek when it comes to entry.

Though summer alternatives exist, the University is moving away from developmental education. While it may be classified as raising standards to some, is shutting out those who desperately want to learn raising moral standards?

I, the kid, am left to my own devices from here on out. My journey down “Thunder Road” continues. I hope that the inspiration given to me by “The Boss” could inspire this university to reconsider the stance they have taken on developmental education.

  • Concerned Student

    I agree with the author. I too feel that Ferris should not turn it’s back on struggling students. Some of these students only need a chance (and a little help) to excel.

  • Harrison Watt

    I’d like to personally thank you for your response, it means a lot.