PASS prepares for a successful summer

Andrew Gaug

Gail Hull, director for the Student Advising Center, reads the book ‘A Hope in the Unseen.’ Hull said the book is a good way to open up discussion between students in the orientation classes. CARRIE WICKS | SUMMER KENT STATER

Credit: Steve Schirra

For students, summer means a chance to wind down and relax for three months. But for the PASS program, it means it’s time to kick it into high gear.

PASS – which stands for the Placement, Advising, and Scheduling System – is a one-day program for admitted freshmen where they can bring their families to get better acquainted with the university and also receive placing assessment, their own academic advisor and register for their classes.

Although the program lasts only one day for students, it goes on for months for the faculty that run the program. PASS program director Gail Hull said the program begins in early February and doesn’t take a hiatus until mid-June. After a short break in June, the program occurs sporadically throughout the summer for two weeks July and three days in August.

Hull also said the program has done very well in the past few years in addressing the concerns that many parents have when sending their child off to college.

Before the program ends, students are given an evaluation to find out things such as if Kent State was their first choice and what else they would like to learn through this program.

“We hear a lot of concerns,” Hull said. “We’ll compile (the responses) in August and send them to their (corresponding) office.”

One of the key things that the PASS program has implemented is teaching students how to access their Flashline account because it plays a key role in the student accessing their university e-mail, classes and grades.

It also teaches parents how to view their bills from the university Web site with eBills. In addition, the book store teaches students how to order books online and how to return them.

“One of the frequent questions was how to hookup (a student’s) computer,” Hull said.

To answer that question, PASS brought in Web Resources to explain how students could link up their computers to the Resident Services system.

Hull also said students often inquire about campus safety.

“We’ve been one of the safest campuses in the United States, comparable to any other university of our size,” Hull said.

To help illustrate this, the Kent State police department created a 15 minute video showcasing why Kent State is very safe such as being the only accredited university in Ohio to receive flagship status – meaning the university is a national model for public safety.

The PASS program is always updating and finding effective, new ways to keep in touch with the students.

“We don’t want to put a lot of budgetary money into programs (students) don’t want,” Hull said.

Last year, the program made it mandatory for students to read a book that ties into the orientation class. Hull said the book deals with struggles that the student may face and helps open up a discussion between students.

Above all, the PASS program was created to help the student feel comfortable with their classes and for parents to feel safe about their child.

“We want (the student) to be placed properly so they can succeed,” Hull said. “(The program) creates a lot of relief from the family’s vantage point.”

Contact student affairs reporter Andrew Gaug at [email protected].