Trumbull enrollment declines by nearly 11 percent

Anthony Cornwell

Kent State Trumbull has seen a decline in enrollment over the past few years, remaining in second place behind the Stark campus in terms of regional campus enrollment.

James Ritter, the director of enrollment management & student services at Trumbull, said the decrease in enrollment is part of a national trend, with schools fighting over students.

“Due to the increase in competition, there has been a decrease in enrollment,” Ritter said. “Especially with the increase in online education.”

Dr. Lance Grahn, dean and chief administrative officer of the Trumbull campus, said the enrollment has declined because the number of high school graduates in the region has declined, as students look to join the workforce immediately.

Daniel Palmer, assistant dean of academic affairs, said that to keep enrollment stable the university must focus on two issues: retention and attracting more non-traditional students.

“(With) improving retention rates, we need to replace fewer students every year and make sure that our students who enter are successful in getting their degrees,” Palmer said. “We also need to reach out even more to non-traditional students to make up for the difference in lost high school applicants.”

With enrollment dropping, there have been programs, such as nursing, at Trumbull that remain consistent with enrollment with some on the rise.

“The nursing program over the years has served students and employers well,” Grahn said.

Other programs that remained consistent and on the rise are criminal justice, English, psychology and applied business in business management technology.

Ritter said a program on the rise is the “Technical & Applied Studies” due to it being a relatively new degree program.

The associate of arts (General Studies) and associate of science (General Studies) are both on the rise due to the new Automatic Awarding of Associate Degrees program. This program automatically awards an associate degree to those pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

The campus does try to keep the university enrollment numbers satisfied by hosting events and bringing in speakers. The campus plans to host events like community 5K runs, the National Day of Writing Program and Black History Month events in the winter.

“We have Domestic Violence Awareness Week, concerts in November, a play in two weeks and public lecture by an astronaut next week,” Grahn said.

Ritter said the campus is also trying to help students financially and advertise more by “constantly increasing scholarship dollars” as a marketing effort.

Grahn also stated that the campus can always do more to promote Trumbull.

“We are working to sharpen our brand and be a more visible preference in the Mahoning Valley,” Grahn said. “But I’m starting first with Warren (Ohio).”

Contact Anthony Cornwell at [email protected].