New & Noteworthy

Ferris State Public Relations Receives National ReCertification

January 29, 2018


Ferris State’s Public Relations curriculum remains one of only two programs in Michigan to receive national certification from the Public Relations Society of America. Pictured above are PRSSA executive board members and program advisors (l-r): Kelsey George, Jeff Ek, Jessica Brown, Thomas Mehl, Brooke Bewak, Dr. Patrick Bishop, Drue Thornton, Sandy Gholston, and Savannah McCalpin. (Not pictured: Ryan Patrick.)

The national board of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) awarded (re)Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR) to the Ferris State University Public Relations (PR) program. With this prestigious honor, Ferris State PR remains one of only 35 programs in the nation to achieve this status.

The recertification process is extensive and meticulous, consisting of a review by two Accredited PRSA members, a full-time educator and an APR-credentialed practicing professional who examine the school’s curriculum, resources, facilities and university support of its programs. Becoming re-certified also requires meeting nine specific criteria of excellence in areas such as curriculum, assessment, faculty, facilities, and diversity.

“Ferris was the first university in the state to gain national certification,” said Dr. Patrick Bishop, Ferris State PR program champion and professor. “We were also the first in the nation to offer PR as a business degree and we remain one of only two in the United States.”

The Ferris program offers students real-life public relations experience through seven PR-specific courses (the most in Michigan) in addition to a fully functional student-run PR firm. Bishop plans to continue to build the program through study abroad, mandatory internships, and increased connection with West Michigan PRSA professionals.

Ferris State PR was founded in 1985 with help from distinguished national PRSA board members and practitioners, Patrick Jackson and Betsy Plank (both since deceased). The program’s guiding principle is: “Built on character. Driven by business.” For information about the curriculum or enrollment, visit their program page or contact Dr. Patrick Bishop at


Public Relations