Founded as a teaching college in 1910, Kent State holds a place in history as the site of a violent student protest of the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. After four days of rioting in May of 1970, 13 students were shot by National Guardsmen, four of whom were killed. The following year the Center for Peaceful Change was established to promote nonviolent democratic values, which today exists as the Center for Applied Conflict Management. Kent State continues to maintain an important role in the research and education of nonviolent conflict resolution.
One of the nation’s largest multi-campus universities, Kent State is comprised of eight campuses in northeast Ohio. The main campus in Kent is enormous, offering 22,000 students 236 undergraduate degree options, 24 dorms, a 12-story library, and dozens of restaurants and dining halls. Students who desire a smaller liberal arts environment may attend any of the seven other regional campuses, located in the cities of Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Salem, Geauga, Stark, Trumbull, and Tuscarawas. Students at these campuses may pursue associate degrees in 40 disciplines that apply toward any bachelor’s degree programs at the main campus.
The array of degree options is vast, encompassing undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in liberal arts and the natural sciences. Some degree programs can even be completed in three years. The four most popular freshman majors are psychology, business management, biological sciences, and pre-nursing; an additional 15% of freshman are classified as ‘exploratory,’ meaning they have not declared a major.
With such a wide range of available courses of study, Kent State recognizes that it may be difficult for first-time students to choose a field of interest. To that end, ‘exploratory’ freshman participate in the EXCEL living and learning program. Students are enrolled in core classes while given special resources to help them discover a suitable major. Consultations with faculty advisement staff, study sessions with participating students, a special residence hall, and peer mentoring are all designed to help these students choose a major by the end of their first year.
Though enrollment is large, each Kent State campus is well staffed; about half of all classes contain fewer than 20 students. Kent State’s online classes provide students with a dedicated community and a diversity of tracks. Many of Kent’s degree programs are offered partially or entirely online, at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Kent’s list of online-only certificate programs is also lengthy. Just a few examples of these online-only options include:
1. M.Ed. in Evaluation and Measurement
2. B.S. in Insurance Studies
3. M.A. in Journalism Education
4. M.S. in Knowledge Management
5. Master of Library Science (M.L.S.)
6. RN to BSN Nursing
7. Master in Public Administration (M.P.A.)
All of Kent State’s campuses offer a vibrant student life experience. The size of the university enables it to offer clubs, activities and events that appeal to all students. Collegiate political organizations, service clubs, leadership programs, Greek life, and cultural associations comprise over 200 student-led groups on campus. A fully equipped fitness center, campus athletics and proximity to major cities in Ohio rounds out the available extracurricular options.
Though Kent State was the site of one of the most infamous collegiate incidents in U.S. history, the school has rebounded quite nicely in the last 40 years. Today, the Ohio mega-campus is recognized as a national leader in higher education where incoming students can choose from a wealth of academic programs, both on campus and online.