Students connect in

Anna Masters

Waking up, doing homework and studying together, walking to classes and taking notes during class together are just a few things students in the College of Business Administration’s learning communities experience everyday.

The College of Business Administration offers a unique learning experience available to incoming freshman called learning communities. The learning communities are made up of students who live in the same residence hall and are enrolled in the same classes.

There are currently four learning communities in the College of Business: A Community of Entrepreneurs, Accelerated Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting Freshman Interest Group, and College of Business Colleagues. There are 175 to 200 students in all four of these communities.

“I think that being able to live and go to class with the same people is the best part of the CBC,” said freshman Tommy Schlotterer, a computer information systems major and computer science minor. “Living with so many people that are in your classes is great because all you have to do is go down the hall to ask for help with homework.”

There are many other perks in applying to be part of these learning communities. Some of them include priority scheduling, networking events and business tours.

“The best part of being in a learning community is that you meet people interested in your major,” said Accounting Freshman Interest Group member Xavier Tecillo. “You get to learn more about your major and do different activities.”

According to Elizabeth Sinclair, assistant dean in the College of Business Administration, if students feel connected through peers, faculty and others, they are more likely to remain and graduate from Kent State.

“I was interacting with professionals and getting great career advice as a freshman,” said Melissa Schlotterer, who is a graduate student and was a member of the College of Business Colleagues. “It helped me plan my academic and extracurricular goals here at Kent State in a way which I learned would appeal to employers upon graduation.”

According to Jennifer Noble, learning community and freshman interest group coordinator, the learning communities are a great opportunity for students to connect with the faculty and staff. There is always immediate access to someone to help find answers, she said.

Schlotterer said the extra tips and events were a great way to meet the university faculty and helped her feel comfortable in her classes right away.

“It was easier to transition from high school to college because it gave me the opportunity to meet new people to start networking,” Tecillo said.

According to Sinclair, it appears students in these learning communities receive better grades and also have a high retention rate. The Kent State retention rate was 71 percent and the College of Business Administration was 72 percent. The learning communities had a retention rate of 78 percent.

Schlotterer said she can attribute the success of landing a job with Ernst & Young in Cleveland after graduation to being exposed to the professional environment from day one of her college career.

Sinclair added that no one else offers learning communities and it’s unique to the university, which makes it very attractive to students.

The Accelerated Bachelor of Business Administration students can finish college in three years without summer classes. This is another perk to many students because of the financial savings and because students can continue on with their education or get a job a year earlier than others.

The incoming freshman have different standards to meet to be a part of the learning communities than the average Kent State freshman. Each group has a different GPA standard, ACT or SAT score, math and English placements and other additional requirements for particular communities.

Contact College of Business Administration reporter Anna Masters at [email protected].