Regional campuses offer quality

Erin Orsini

More students attending all seven campuses

This fall semester, all seven regional campuses experienced an increase in enrollment, according to the Fifteenth Day Enrollment Statistics Report issued by Research, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness.

“We’re thrilled that students are taking advantage of the campuses,” said Susan Stocker, dean of the Kent State Ashtabula campus.

Facility improvements, new programs, cost and the economy all helped impact the increase.

The regional campuses encountered an overall 26.86 percent increase from the Fall 2008 semester.

“People are starting to recognize that regional campuses have quality programs,” she said. “We are a part of Kent State University and offer quality education, and that is why students are making the choice to come here.”

Stocker said features like Ashtabula’s new Health and Science Building and the renovation of Main Hall are used as recruitment tools to attract students to its campus.

Ashtabula’s enrollment increased 28.49 percent this semester.

Enrollment management as well as other faculty and staff members worked hard on different programs and recruitment tactics to increase enrollment.

“We hired more academic advisers and recruiters to talk about the opportunities at college to high school students,” Stocker said.

Advisers and recruiters also targeted Job and Family Services to attract nontraditional students who may have lost their job or those who want to go back to school.

William Casterlow, community outreach coordinator and adviser for enrollment management of student services, said reaching out and relating to students helped Kent State Stark increase its minority enrollment.

Helping Brothers Out, a multicultural outreach program, is just one way Casterlow reaches out to minority students to help mentor and provide academic assistance. He uses his own personal experience of growing up in inner-city New Jersey as a way to relate to students.

“I try to explain to students that when you go to college you don’t become a different person – you become a better person,” Casterlow said.

The Stark campus increased its minority student enrollment by 18 percent, as well as its number of black students by 24 percent.

Casterlow said he was also aware of the different factors that contribute to the overall enrollment increase at the campus.

“Cost and location are key reasons why students come to regional campuses,” he said. “It’s close to home, and students don’t have to worry about the extra costs of room and board. In terms of proximity, work, school and home are all within a 30-45 minute timeframe.”

Kent State’s regional campuses plan to work hard to build on these enrollment numbers.

“We try to remain student-centered,” Stocker said. “We get to know our students. It’s the environment on the campus that helps us succeed, and it’s a very caring one.”

For detailed statistics go to

Contact regional campus reporter Erin Orsini at [email protected].