In August of 1993, the first Math Science Technology Center class began its very first class period.

This first group of junior students worked hard at plowing the trail and setting the pace for the next group of juniors to follow their lead. No one knew in 1993 that the last class would finally be turning over their program to another in 2014 to the Woodbridge Promise.

The initial MSTC program was built on the premise that each of the local school districts would send students interested in Math/Science/Technology to the Ferris State campus for half of a day to return to their respective schools for the other half. The theory was to put students with common interests into the same room, working with similar pace and focused on advancing their education beyond high school. They competed at science fairs and academic competitions, wrote papers, gave presentations, explored other states and countries together and developed a common bond. Several of the graduates have blazed trails only seen by a few people.

Almost 500 students went through the program before its completion this year, with cumulative scholarship awards into the millions of dollars and opportunities to match. Ferris State helped the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District design and implement the program to meet the needs of a specific group of students. When school funding ran short, the local districts had to quit sending students their way. As the program size began to dwindle, new life sprang forth with the Woodbridge Promise program which is now in its second year.

The Woodbridge Promise program is similar in structure and provides students who might not think they can move on to college with an opportunity to “get their feet wet” at a college campus and begin to learn the rigor needed to keep pace with the college programs. Both the MSTC and the Woodbridge Promise wouldn’t have happened without the assistance of Ferris State University. The local school districts want to wish the Seniors of the final MSTC graduating class a fond farewell and “Good Luck!”

These MSTC students are from all of the local school districts and are as follows: Ericka Doke, Erin Drouillard, Travis Hooker, Paige Kramer, Megan O'Neil, Rachel Rounds, Sean Ruelle, Tiffany Sindel and Katey Williams. Great job seniors!

Dr. Finch can be reached at cfinch@moisd.org or followed on Twitter at CFinchMOISD