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Creating a Smooth Path to Graduation

provostOne of the university's top priorities has been making the path to graduation as straightforward and support-filled as possible. The Division of Academic Affairs convened a broad-based 21st-Century Graduate Project to eliminate bureaucratic complexity and update the curriculum with a focus on student learning. As a result, a new set of undergraduate course requirements called the Kent Core was established to ensure that students graduate with 21st-century knowledge and skills, including the ability to use, apply and explore knowledge in meaningful ways.

Under the leadership of Academic Affairs, the innovative orientation program Destination Kent State: Advising and Registration was created to give admitted students a jumpstart on successful college careers and provide information and experiences that lead them to enroll. The program includes an overnight stay in a residence hall; presentations about the transition to college; one-on-one advising and registration; meetings with faculty in their chosen majors; and interaction with FlashGuides, current students who serve as enthusiastic mentors. Most participants leave with new friends, as well as their identifying FLASHcard, a good grip on the campus map and a fall class schedule.

The desire to apply technology in ways that enhance student success led to the launch of a Graduation Planning System and associated website that allow students to search Kent State's 236 bachelor's-degree programs by interest area, college or keyword. The user-friendly, “one-stop shop” for exploring academic majors also gives students the important ability to track their progress toward graduation.

The university's academic and technology sectors also collaborated in a major expansion of online courses and degree programs.