Twinsburg Center students can earn KSU degree without attending university

Rebekah Mosora

David Mohan, dean of Geauga campus in Twinsburg, and Larry Finch, director of Community Planning and Development, met yesterday to discuss the relationship between the Geauga campus and the city. Twinsburg has allocated money for the Geauga campus for ren

Credit: Steve Schirra

Twinsburg area students can get a degree from Kent State without stepping foot on a Kent State campus.

Twinsburg Center, a satellite of Kent State’s Geauga campus, is growing rapidly as a result of partnerships with the community and businesses.

Geauga campus Dean David Mohan said that Twinsburg Center offers a variety of associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, including business and technology. Students can fulfill all degree requirements at the center and do not have to enroll at another campus.

Mohan said that there are nearly 300 students taking classes at the center. He said enrollment has increased by 70 students from last fall.

Students are attracted to the center for many different reasons. Brittany Steele, freshman early childhood education major, said she chose the Twinsburg Center after realizing she was not ready to move to a big university.

“Professors here know you by your name; you’re not just a number,” Steele said.

Murphy Ajayi, a professor of Pan-African studies at the center, said the relationship between the students and faculty members is very strong.

“We care very much about the students,” Ajayi said. “We don’t treat them as a customer we want to dispose of. We show them the path and help them along the way.”

The majority of the Twinsburg Center faculty members split their time between the center and the Geauga campus.

Vania Alvarez-Minah, the program officer at the Twinsburg Center, said accessibility is another reason many students choose the center.

The building is open from 7:30 a.m. until 8 p.m., and when the building is open, the office is open. The schedule of classes is set up to accommodate students who work full-time and students who attend school full-time.

Larry Finch, the director of community planning and development for Twinsburg, said he sees the center as a beneficial addition to the area.

“The city considers this to be an asset to the community,” Finch said. “It provides higher education locally at a relatively inexpensive price. It raises the image and the economic development potential for the community.”

Twinsburg Center was established in 1991. It currently shares an old elementary school building with the United Auto Workers DaimlerChrysler Twinsburg training center.

Tim Keblesh, the co-administrator of the local Chrysler training center and a Kent State graduate, said both centers share some facilities, including a computer lab.

Keblesh earned a bachelor’s degree in science and technology from Twinsburg Center. He took all of his required courses at the center except for one.

Finch said the Twinsburg administration is very supportive of the center. They have made the building available and contributed both labor and funds to the renovation.

“The transformation has occurred so quickly,” Mohan said. “The real transition has occurred in the last year. We couldn’t have done it without city cooperation.”

Contact regional campus reporter Rebekah Mosora at [email protected].