PASS replacement will focus on immersing students at KSU

Jamie Shearer

Departments work to preserve classroom spots for freshman

Several departments are taking extra precautions to ensure the new Destination Kent State Advising and Registration program for incoming freshmen doesn’t block them out of classes.

The overnight program, which is replacing the 22-year-old Placement, Advising and Scheduling System, is giving incoming freshmen a new campus experience.

“We decided to move into an overnight format so that students could experience campus living in all sense of the word,” said Joanna Liedel, associate director for Student Success programs.

Incoming students will be on campus eating, sleeping and registering for classes starting June 1 through July 17 – while the rest of campus will start registering today.

The PASS program gave incoming freshmen first pick of classes in February, but Destination Kent leaves the possibility for freshmen to be

blocked out of classes.

Kenneth Bindas, the history department chair, has reserved seats in the department’s four survey classes, which are geared toward freshmen. Ten seats in each of the 21 survey sections are open specifically for freshmen, and it’s 10 for a reason.

“Rather than reserve 25 seats in a 75 seat course, we just did 10 seats,” Bindas said. “So if of those 10, five seats go unfilled, it’s not necessarily going to have a negative correlation with RCM.”

But even reserving seats doesn’t mean incoming freshmen will get those spots because returning freshmen can register in the spring.

“Even though we have reserved those seats, there’s no way to guarantee that when the Destination Kent kids come through that those seats will still be available,” Bindas said.

Thomas Yantek, director of Undergraduate Studies for the political science department, isn’t worried about over-enrollment for his department, but might take a precautionary step anyway.

“I suspect we’ll probably want to do some reservation just so we’re in spirit with the program,” Yantek said.

Even if the worst-case scenario happens, which is incoming freshmen being blocked out of classes, the departments will still work to get those students in.

“If they come to me in July, the beginning of July, and say ‘We’re out of history courses,’ well then we’ll figure out a way to open up another history course,” Bindas said.

Even though Yantek doesn’t anticipate any problems, his backup plan is similar to Bindas’.

“We can usually adapt fairly late in the game by adding a section in one of those courses,” he said. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Even so, Bindas said he is ready and willing to work with the new program and make new students’ experiences positive.

“I’m agreeable to do anything I can to make the first-year experience a success and to make the students coming into Kent State welcome,” Bindas said.

Contact faculty affairs reporter Jamie Shearer at [email protected].