Kent State’s American Academy grows, first cohort to graduate in 2020

Wyatt Loy Beat reporter

This May will mark two years since the founding of the American Academy in Brazil, a two-year degree program that allows Brazilian students to get an associate degree from Kent State without leaving their country.

The program is offered through the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, a long time partner of Kent State.

“It fills a niche in Brazil,” said Leslie Bowser, senior global program advisor in the Office of Global Education. “Normally, students have to take an exam when they’re 17, and that exam determines what they’re going to do with their life. With the American Academy, they can get their core classes out of the way, which gives them time to decide.”

The first group of American Academy students that enrolled in 2018 will graduate in June of this year. The goal of the program is to get students to Kent State, Bowser said, but they are not forced to. 

“They all want to come to Kent,” Bowser said. “In 2018 we started with 15 students, and 14 have chosen to come here next semester. There’s one still deciding.”

“Total enrollment is around 60 students currently,” Bowser said, “but next semester we’re predicting around 100.” 

Next year, Bowser said, they are hoping to have around 200 students enrolled.

“Kent State’s ‘Find Your Purpose’ initiative has really taken off in Brazil,” Bowser said. “Students really like the idea of taking the time to figure out what they want to do, and that’s really what the whole American Academy is all about.”

Contact Wyatt Loy at [email protected].