Overall drop in Kent State regional campuses enrollment

Kent State’s fifteenth-day numbers revealed an overall decreasing trend for the seven regional campuses’ concurrent enrollment.

“Concurrent” data reflects all students attending a campus, regional and main campus. The data cannot be added together, or students attending classes at more than one campus would be counted twice. “Preponderant” data counts multi-campus students at just one campus.

The regional campuses’ cumulative concurrent enrollment for fall 2017 is 16,512 students, dropping by 2.5 percent from fall 2016’s number of 16,927 students.

Kent State Ashtabula experienced a 4.82 percent drop in concurrent enrollment, similar to the Kent State Trumbull deficit of 4.25 percent. Kent State Geauga numbers fell by 6.91 percent; however, the greatest percentage decrease was at Kent State East Liverpool.  

East Liverpool’s concurrent enrollment was 1,302 students in the fall 2016. In fall 2017, the number dropped by 127 students to 1,175 total. This is a 9.75 percent decrease for the campus.

Going against the dropping enrollment trend, Kent State Stark, Salem and Tuscarawas experienced different results.

Kent State Stark showed little change in the concurrent enrollment numbers; the campus was only behind last year’s total by 5 students. Concurrent enrollment was 5,010 students for the fall 2017 semester compared to its Fall 2016 number of 5,015.

Denise Seachrist, Kent State Stark dean, explained that the data was a good indicator of the campus’ efforts to maintain enrollment and retention numbers.

“We’ve been able to offer more programming, and it attracts students,” Seachrist said. “Building the community environment is an integral part of our success. We have everything that a main campus has, for being residential. ”   

Kent State Salem enrollment grew by 1.2 percent. Salem’s fall 2016 enrollment was 1,675 then increased to 1,695 in fall 2017.

Kent State Tuscarawas campus enrollment totaled 2,131 for fall 2017, which increased their enrollment by 3.15 percent.

Brad Bielski, Tuscarawas dean and chief administrative officer, explained that the data represented a positive student experience at Tuscarawas.

“What we are finding is that a lot of our students are enrolling and liking the experience that they are getting and trying to take as many classes as they can at our campus,” Bielski said.

Tuscarawas is ahead of all seven regional campuses in regards to enrollment this fall, which can be attributed to the campus utilizing set S.M.A.R.T. Goals developed by the university, Bielski said.

S.M.A.R.T. goals is an acronym that stands for objectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

“We have a S.M.A.R.T. goal of 2,400 students,” Bielski said. “If everything goes our way, recruitment remains strong and we continue to provide the student services and education that meets their demand, then I think we will meet that goal and surpass it.”

As explained by David Garcia, senior associate vice president for enrollment management, the overall decrease of student enrollment will not alter Kent State University’s vision of growth.

Natalie Meek is the south regional campuses and aeronautics reporter. Contact her at [email protected]. Devon Parker is the north regional campuses and graduate education reporter. Contact him at [email protected].