Government and Higher Education

FSU enters into agreement with state education department

It’s expected to give technical students an early start on a degree.

May 31, 2013
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Ferris State University became the first public college in the state last week to sign an articulation agreement with the Michigan Department of Education.

The pact is expected to strengthen access to higher education for high school students across the state — especially for those who are interested in pursuing a technical career — while they’re still in high school.

As part of this new agreement, FSU will continue its ongoing collaborations with the state’s education department, the Michigan Office of Career and Technical Education, Michigan high schools and the state’s career and technical education centers through a formal partnership that goes into effect July 1.

“As a career-centered university, Ferris State University is committed to building strong relationships with career technical education centers and high schools,” said FSU President David Eisler in a statement. “I am delighted that we are the first public university in Michigan to implement these statewide articulation agreements,” he added.

An articulation agreement is a formal contract between a secondary and postsecondary educational institution to help students pursue higher education. Through this process, Ferris believes it can formalize and strengthen its collaborative efforts with career and technical education centers, as well as with high schools. The university also feels it can maintain its consistency when it awards credits to students with the new articulation pact.

Eisler pointed out the new agreement recognizes the quality of “content and rigor” found in the Michigan career and technical education programs offered. When the CTE programs are aligned with those offered by Ferris, all state-approved CTE programs will be covered under the agreement.

Another benefit of the contract is students may be able to accumulate college credits earlier, which may reduce their debt load and the amount of time it takes to earn their degrees.

“The biggest benefit in this agreement is that the college and the high schools appropriately aligned their courses so students are adequately prepared for a smooth transition into the programs offered at Ferris,” said Mike Flannigan, superintendent of state education.

Davenport University, a private college, also has signed an articulation agreement with the state. Some of the programs of study covered under the agreement include math, science, biology, chemistry, and CTE drafting and design.

Eisler and Flannigan signed the articulation agreement last month, and Ferris made it public last week. The contract is valid until one or both parties choose to dissolve the partnership.

“I applaud President Eisler for taking this step to provide opportunities for high school CTE students across the state to earn credits toward a degree at Ferris State University,” said Flannigan. “Statewide credit transfer agreements increase opportunities to students to earn postsecondary credits before leaving high school.”

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