Tuscarawas offers degrees that serve its community

Michelle Moore

The veterinary technology program is the only one of its kind within a 100-mile radius.

The computer design and animation program is one of the fastest growing majors and is the only associate degree of its kind offered in Ohio.

The nursing program has enrolled the maximum number of first- and second-year students.

Combine the variety of great programs and the high level of community commitment, and it equals a second consecutive year increase in enrollment at the Tuscarawas campus.

“We’re continuing to grow in the enrollment area because we’re continuing to build a reputation for excellence,” said Laurie Donley, director of Enrollment Management and Student Services. “The community is learning about the need for education, and (they’re) continuing to value education.”

With 2,039 students enrolled for the Fall 2006 semester, the Tuscarawas campus is the third largest regional campus in terms of enrollment figures.

The campus has a New Program Development Task Force that identifies the specific needs of the community and region. It then offers students new programs and degrees students that are significant to the community it serves.

The Tuscarawas campus offers 19 associate degrees, seven bachelor’s degrees and the Master of Technology degree. The university recently added its newest degree: veterinary technology.

The veterinary technology degree was implemented last fall. The program has 19 students enrolled this year.

Pam Patacca, Tuscarawas public relations coordinator, said the New Program Development Task Force researched the area and found there was a great demand for veterinary technicians in the community and surrounding regions.

“We can justify adding new programs because there is a community need for that,” Patacca said.

By the end of the 2007-08 academic year, the program should have accreditation because it takes a two-year cycle to do that.

“It means a lot that the community trusts that we will be able to reach that accrediting status,” said Donley. “And they’re enrolling in it as we’re building it.”

The engineering technology program is gaining recognition at the Tuscarawas campus.

The Tuscarawas campus was the first at Kent State to offer computer design and animation – an associate degree offered from the engineering technology program. The program is now also available at the Kent campus.

“In the past we have drawn people from across the nation for our programs . including six international students,” Patacca said. “They come for the programs we offer – computer design and animation is one of those programs.”

Nursing students can earn their associate degree after completing 70 credit hours of coursework that blends general education and nursing courses. A variety of labs that resemble a hospital setting help give the students hands-on experience. The coursework may be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Patricia Book, vice president for regional development, said the Tuscarawas campus is a great example for record enrollment.

“Because of their collaboration between higher education and community, and their economic development strategy for that region, they’re positioning themselves to be players, and a unique initiative that makes them stand out,” Book said.

Contact regional campuses reporter Michelle Moore at [email protected].