Midterms may indicate which students return

Derek Lenehan

Freshman midterm scores weigh on more than just grades. In a review of data on first-year students, the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Office of Research, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness have linked midterm grades with freshman retention rates at Kent State.

The review found that 49 percent of freshmen students that score lower than 2.0 on their midterms do not return for a second year, while 76 percent of students that score above a 2.0 continue their studies.

The university is sponsoring several programs geared toward informing freshmen of the importance of their first midterms.

Terri Capellman, director of First Year Experience, said that newsletters are being sent to students’ families, as well as e-mail messages to the students themselves.

Residence hall directors are meeting with students in their halls that score below a 2.0 to discuss their grades and how to improve them. Several deans are making visits to freshman orientation classes to stress the importance of midterms.

Commuters are at a higher risk than students who live on campus. A freshman that lives off campus that scores below a 2.0 is more than 50 percent likely not to continue beyond his or her first year. Meanwhile, 58 percent of residence hall students in the same scenario make it to their sophomore year.

Aaron Martin, freshman journalism and mass communication major, has noticed the efforts by the faculty. “I’ve gotten a bunch of e-mails about midterms, and I’ve seen a lot of the posters around. It seems like a good idea for freshmen. We’re all new at this.”

The numbers of students that did not continue their schooling surprised him.

“It’s kinda scary,” he said.

Kevin Bobula, second-year freshman history major, observed several people who left Kent State after their first year.

“I knew four or five freshmen that dropped last year,” he said.

Midterm grades will be available to freshmen to view on Oct. 19.

Contact news correspondent Derek Lenehan at [email protected].