Twinsburg Center attracts more students

Kyle Nelson

The unassuming building in Twinsburg that looks like an old high school is actually a Kent State University sanctioned educational facility.

The Twinsburg Center, originally built in 1921, used to be an elementary school for the city of Twinsburg, said David Mohan, dean of the Kent State Geauga Campus. It was not until 1996 that the school began offering classes to union members of the United Auto Workers of the Chrysler Corporation. It was those union members who then expressed interest in earning their associate degree, forcing the Twinsburg Center to offer more coursework in the associate of arts and sciences and computer technology.

The increase in programs offered also increased interest from students looking for further education.

“Little by little the enrollment grew to 200 by the year 2004,” Mohan said. “We went from 200 in 2004 to just shy of 800 this spring semester.”

The convenience and size the Twinsburg Center offers is a major drawing point for students. Eric Juengel, freshman zoology major, has found the transition from his high school in Pennsylvania to be an easy one.

“Classes are at good times,” Juengel said. “There is usually enough time between classes to do homework and assignments. It’s going pretty well so far.”

One of the biggest draws of the center is for students who have yet to make up his or her mind on what major to pursue.

“When the center is being run correctly, it should complement the Kent campus,” Mohan said. “It’s a great place for students to get started. Roughly half the students that are there are exploratory students and many of them will end up at the Kent campus.”

“It is different than the other regional campuses in as much as when I’m at Geauga, nine out of 10 of those students will not come to the Kent campus where at Twinsburg that’s not the case,” he added. “Twinsburg is significantly different than any of the other regional campuses.”

The other contributing factor to the Twinsburg Center’s success is its nursing program. Kayla Kostelic, sophomore nursing major, is using the center as a stepping-stone into Kent State’s nursing program at the main campus.

“As soon as I get my prerequisites out of the way here, I’ll transfer to Kent’s main campus,” Kostelic said. “When I get accepted into the nursing program, that is.”

Despite the center’s continuing success, there are still issues that need to be addressed as enrollment grows.

“We could fit more students, but we’re out of parking,” Mohan said. “Starting this fall semester, at certain times of the day we’re causing traffic jams. Now we have close to 800 students. They’re not there at the same time, but it’s still a challenge.”

These concerns have forced the administration into taking a look at the options available to them.

“We’re just starting to get to the precipice to having to consider where we would go next,” Mohan said. “We’re working on that now. The city is very accommodating, the mayor in particular.”

Although space has become an issue, the Twinsburg Center is still advertising its services to students around the area using schedule books placed conveniently in high-traffic areas.

“The best place to put a schedule book is in a tanning salon,” Mohan said. “We’ve come to find out that people who are waiting to tan flip through the book and you’d be surprised how many end up at the center — tanned.”

Contact regional campus reporter Kyle Nelson at [email protected].