Digital sciences enrollment sees major increase

Elizabeth Randolph

Enrollment for Kent State University’s School of Digital Sciences has nearly doubled in the last year, a change in school administrators attribute to more international students taking part in the program.

The school started up in the fall of 2011 as a program teaching students how to manage technology better through different outlets such as apps.  

The program had 117 students enrolled in the spring 2013 semester. This spring, the school has 222 total students enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate programs.  

Robert Walker, director of the School of Digital Sciences, said he believes the growth could be because of the growing importance of technology in society.

“Our students learn to work with a diverse group of people,” he said. “By the end of their time here, they will know all of the aspects of technology and design and how to put it together.”

Walker said much of the school’s enrollment increase is due to international students coming to study from Middle Eastern countries.

“We’re starting to get a large number of [students] from Saudi Arabia and India,” Walker said. “Many of them take a variety of our concentrations, like software development.”

Senior digital sciences major Tia Coble said she is pleased with the growth of the school from fall 2011 to this semester.

“When we started this school, there were about 22 digital science students. I would have a lot of classes with the same people at first,” Coble said. “Now the school has about 200 students, which is amazing for the [third] year.

Although the school has continued to increase over the last three years, Coble said he feels the school still is not very well-known on Kent State’s campus.

“Our school is very tucked away, and unless you’re looking for it, you can’t find it as easily,” he said.

Even though the school isn’t extremely well-known, Coble said she enjoys that aspect of her major the most.

“I love telling people about my major because no one knows what it is yet,” Coble said. “I love defining it and letting people know that it is a much more supportive field, and you are able to do your own thing and build your own career.”

Kathleen Levandowski, academic adviser for the School of Digital Sciences, said she is optimistic about the future of the school and its enrollment rates.

“I think we will continue to grow like we are,” Levandowski said. “People will begin to see that our students go on to get great jobs, have great lives and will be happy.”

According to the School of Digital Sciences’ website, “The school fosters a broad exposure to digital technologies as used by a wide range of professions and organizations.”

The school’s website said it integrates elements from the fields of computer science, computer information systems, computer technology, library information science, visual communication design, journalism, communication studies and instructional technology.

Contact Elizabeth Randolph at [email protected].