Ferris State has been recognized as having the 15th best improvement in graduation rates in the country.
Released in December, the latest study by The Chronicle of Higher Education said Ferris has met a nine-point percentage increase from 2003-2008 of students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. The 2003 graduation rate was 34 percent growing over six years to 43 percent.
Vice President for Academic Affairs Fritz Erickson said fall 2010 semester graduation rates, following federal reporting guidelines, have reached 51 percent. 97 percent of those graduates have received jobs.
“You can see why graduation is so important to the lifelong success of our students,” said Erickson. “Increases in graduation and retention do not happen by accident and are the culmination of several factors and a lot of hard work across the campus.”
The retention rates of students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in fall 2008 were at 68 percent for full time students who returned for fall 2009.
Average ACT scores of freshmen have increased with 70 percent of students taking part in some form of internship.
Interim Assistant Director of News Sandy Gholston is aware that specific qualities such as test scores attract a higher quality of students and faculty.
“Ferris has done a great job of adapting academic programs of Michigan’s economy to meet the needs of business,” Gholston said. “This has helped students to receive education to be industry ready. As a result, this has made Ferris a more attractive option for parents and students.”
According to Erickson, without Ferris State’s faculty, the improvements may not have been reachable.
“Of course, our faculty is critical to the success of our students and take great pride in not only the graduation of our students, but in the careers they enter,” said Erickson. “Student graduation rates don’t increase without the tireless efforts and individual attention that so many faculty provide our students.”
“Ferris’ education gave me the knowledge, skills and certifications that are essential to being an effective manager in the hospitality industry,” said fall 2010 graduate Tiffany Beckmann. “I am confident that my education from Ferris will allow me to be successful in any position I work.”
Specifically, the hands-on learning experiences and the supportive faculty stood out to Beckmann the most, something she said the university continues to promote and provide.
“Students want to go to school not only with good programming, but commitment to seeing them through to the point of shaking President Eisler’s hand,” said Gholston. n