SMC's Ferris ties expand to elementary education

Don Campbell / HP staff Southwestern Michigan College

Don Campbell / HP staff

DOWAGIAC — Southwestern Michigan College’s new elementary education partnership with Ferris State University will be available to students come fall 2018, the college announced.

Elementary education becomes the seventh Ferris State bachelor’s degree offered at SMC’s Dowagiac campus, joining accountancy, business administration, business administration-professional track, computer information technology, criminal justice and human resource management.

Early Childhood Education Program Director Heather Zile said that in addition to the affordability of a third year of college at SMC’s lower tuition rates, her program can be a third minor to add ZS endorsement to graduates’ certification.

The Michigan Department of Education’s ZS endorsement program is a specialty area for elementary school teachers to obtain expertise working with young children from birth through third grade.

Under the four-year programs, students can remain in Dowagiac housing, with access to all resources on SMC’s campus, with no need to move north to Big Rapids.

“My students just went from considering a transfer to being able to stay here, continue with elementary ed and start Ferris that third year at SMC prices,” Zile said.