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Kent State Sets New All-Time Record For Spring Enrollment

University officials say retention strategies are delivering results.

has set yet another new record for itself by breaking the 40,000 mark for spring enrollment, according to the university’s official 15th day census data for the eight-campus system.

On Friday, Kent State reported 40,398 students were registered for the spring 2012 semester. That's an increase of 1.16 percent over the 39,936 students recorded for spring semester 2011.

“We are staying the course with student success being our number one goal,” said Kent State President Lester A. Lefton. “We must keep the momentum going and continue to improve student retention and persistence to timely graduation. As Northeast Ohio’s leader in graduation among public universities, we will continue to innovate and collaborate to ensure every student is a success.”

Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro said he congratulates Kent State.

"I commend the university’s leadership and employees for their dedication to their students and efforts to increase enrollment, retention and especially graduation rates,” Petro said.

Retention strategies that the university has put into action include:

  • The opening of the new Kent State , a state-of-the-art computerized learning center designed to equip students with the mathematical knowledge they will need on their path to graduation.
  • The Graduation Planning System, or GPS, that tracks student progress to graduation with new enhancements allowing students to see all requirements for earning a degree in the declared program and have an individualized plan of study.

The entire university community is engaged in retention efforts. Kent State held a university wide symposium on student success that focused on retention and persistence and featured keynote speaker Dr. George Kuh, chancellor’s professor emeritus at Indiana University and founding director of the Center for Postsecondary Research and the National Survey of Student Engagement.

The Office of Student Success Programs has held a series of sessions to give faculty members access to tools and resources to help support their students and achieve success. Special communications are being sent to stakeholders.

For example, parents of Kent State freshmen received a mailing along with a copy of Kent State Magazine that offered tips on how to talk to their child about their college experience and available resources to help their student succeed in college.

The university’s Dining Services hosted a special party for returning freshmen last week to celebrate the students and recognize their completion of their first semester of college.

Highlights from the spring 2012 enrollment numbers include:

  • Unduplicated (or preponderant) headcount at the Kent campus is 25,773, and the unduplicated headcount for the regional campuses is 14,625. Students are counted only once at the campus at which they hold the majority of their course load.
  • Enrollment at the Kent Campus has increased by 3.47 percent (preponderant).
  • The persistence spring 2012 undergraduates (fall 2011 first-time, full-time freshmen who have persisted and registered for spring 2012 classes) at the Kent Campus is 93.8 percent.
  • Of the regional campuses, the Geauga Campus had the largest percent increase in the number of students with 1.13 percent (preponderant).
  • The enrollment of international students increased 34.75 percent to 1,927 students compared to 1,430 in spring 2011.
  • Graduate enrollment has increased by 3.80 percent (preponderant).

“In addition to the release of these strong enrollment figures, I’m very encouraged by the increase of Fall 2012 applications, particularly with 3.0 high school grade point averages,” said T. David Garcia, Kent State’s associate vice president for enrollment management.

“To date, we have seen a 40 percent increase in applications compared to this time last year. Under President Lefton’s leadership and the great work of our admissions personnel, faculty and staff, we continue to see an increasing number of people who want a Kent State education,” Garcia said.

Kent State University’s eight campuses are located in Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Kent, Salem, Stark, Trumbull and Tuscarawas.

For the full spring enrollment report, visit www.kent.edu/rpie/enrollment.

Wade January 28, 2012 at 01:59 PM
The programs listed above have had some effect on enrollment numbers; however, I hope the administration doesn't pat themselves on the back too much. High enrollment numbers in post high-school education ALWAYS increase during economic downturns when unemployment rates increase. Bet there's an economics class or two on campus where this is discussed.

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