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Kent Institutional Characteristics

The categories and paragraphs below emanate from and elaborate upon the Role and Mission of Kent State University. Taken as a whole, these categories and the information contained therein detail Kent State institutional characteristics embodied within the university’s role and mission statement. The university’s annual and multiyear planning efforts are thus guided by the values and goals explicitly and implicitly described by the Kent Institutional Characteristics that follow.

Kent State University recruits an academically talented and culturally diverse student body. The university affirmatively strives to provide educational opportunities to students from varied backgrounds, including those persons who have been historically underrepresented in higher education. While admission to the Kent Campus is selective, the seven Regional Campuses offer open admissions. Through its Honors College, Kent State makes a particular effort to attract students who have already demonstrated their capacity to achieve outstanding academic success. For more than three decades the university has played a leading role nationally in providing opportunities to students with disabilities. The university also provides special programs that address the needs of students who for socioeconomic reasons are underprepared but who have the ability to achieve academic success.

While undergraduate students from every region of the nation and many foreign countries attend Kent State, the majority of its undergraduate students are from Northeast Ohio and reflect the rich diversity of the region’s ethnic and cultural communities. A significant proportion of Kent State’s graduate students come from beyond the boundaries of Ohio and the nation, and their presence on campus contributes significantly to the variety of experiences available to the student body as a whole. The university is placing increased emphasis on serving nontraditional students through programming at all of its campuses and through selected continuing education programs that complement and logically extend its academic degree programs.

To promote learning and foster the intellectual life of the university, Kent State seeks to attract and retain an active, culturally and academically diverse faculty of the highest caliber, skilled in the scholarship of teaching, discovery, application and integration. The university affords its faculty the fullest possible academic and artistic freedom, including varied opportunities for professional development, collaboration among academic disciplines and outreach to local, national and international communities. At Kent State University, faculty play an integral role in university-wide planning and governance.

Kent State University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. The university offers a wide array of associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Its programs provide a balance of academic and professional preparation in accordance with the highest national standards. Kent State fosters collaboration and articulation with community colleges and four-year institutions, as well as cooperative efforts with secondary and elementary schools to further facilitate successful transition to and within higher education. The university is committed to providing a living-learning environment that encourages individual growth and promotes the successful and timely completion of degrees.

Undergraduate. All undergraduate programs reflect the university’s commitment to a liberal education foundation, which is intended to broaden intellectual and aesthetic perspectives, explore ethical and humane values, and prepare students for lifelong learning and responsible participation in a complex, changing society. The specialized major provides study in depth, which leads to knowledge and understanding in academic and professional fields of study. Undergraduate students are also offered varied opportunities to participate in research, take graduate-level coursework and engage in work outside the classroom.

Graduate. Kent State University, Northeast Ohio’s senior public institution of higher education, offers an extensive range of advanced academic programs leading to the master’s degree and selected programs leading to the doctoral degree. Kent State is committed to providing graduate-level programs that complement and enhance undergraduate education and meet the highest national standards. These programs provide advanced training and knowledge essential to the economic development and general welfare of Ohio and the nation, as well as lead to research with a global impact. The university recruits and retains high-quality students from across the nation and abroad to engage in study under the direction of a distinguished graduate faculty.

Kent State University was established in 1910 as Kent Normal School. Since its inception, Kent State has maintained its commitment to provide national leadership in what have been historical strengths of the university, professional education and the liberal arts. Kent State has a rich tradition in the preparation of teachers and is among the leaders nationwide in research related to teaching and learning. The university stresses the importance of a strong liberal arts base through its Liberal Education Requirements and maintains distinguished doctoral programs in selected areas of the humanities. From the events of May 4, 1970, Kent State University inherits a unique leadership role in promoting the peaceful resolution of conflict through education.

Northeast Ohio is a region with a population of more than 4.5 million, in a geographical area that is both urban and rural. With its Kent Campus and seven Regional Campuses, located at Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Salem, Stark, Trumbull and Tuscarawas, the Kent State University system makes a university education accessible to all segments of Northeast Ohio.

Because it is home to many corporations and the NASA Glenn Research Center, Northeast Ohio is noted for research and development activities in science and engineering. Its location gives the university a special mission in the applied and basic sciences exemplified by the internationally renowned research conducted at Kent State’s Glenn H. Brown Liquid Crystal Institute®.

The broad metropolitan area encompassing Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown and Warren has superb medical and health-related research facilities. Kent State builds upon these geographical advantages to offer nationally recognized programs of study and research in the health and behavioral sciences.

Kent State University has long been devoted to improving the quality of life in the region by emphasizing community development and design, illustrated by the leadership role its College of Architecture and Environmental Design plays in the Northeastern Ohio Urban Design Center.

As a major cultural resource for Northeast Ohio and prominent player in fine arts activities at nearby Blossom Music Center and Porthouse Theatre, Kent State is committed to maintaining excellent programs in the visual and performing arts.

Telecommunications, information sciences and other communication activities abound in the region, and Kent State offers well-recognized programs in several fields of communication, including established programs in print and electronic journalism and information sciences.

Northeast Ohio is a major business and commerce center. Kent State’s programs in business and commerce are designed to serve area executives and business professionals, as well as prepare students for productive careers in a global economy.

Kent State University stresses internationally related activities and participates in a number of study-abroad programs and exchanges of students and faculty. Kent State students may explore the history, languages, cultures and religions of other countries and ethnic groups by taking courses and programs offered by many academic units.

Kent State University views learning in all its forms as central to its mission. University faculty provide instruction that reflects current knowledge gained through ongoing scholarship and adheres to the highest professional and ethical standards. Faculty members are readily accessible to students, who are encouraged to take an active role in the learning process. The university promotes excellence in teaching by offering faculty members opportunities for development in the areas of curriculum and instruction; by providing high-quality equipment, materials and facilities; and by maintaining a system of rewards and recognition based on the premise that teaching, research and creative activity are mutually supportive. Because teaching and learning are not confined to the classroom experience, a high value is placed on such related activities as individual instruction, thesis and dissertation direction, and academic advising.

A fundamental mission of the university is to enhance the quality of life through research and creative activity. Therefore, Kent State University has among its goals the generation, dissemination and application of knowledge in all its forms. Moreover, it considers research and creative activity necessary for teaching excellence. Faculty are expected to be actively engaged in a broad spectrum of scholarly activity conducted in accordance with the highest professional and ethical standards. Much of this activity relies upon cooperative efforts with students and staff. The university supports these efforts by fostering an environment of free inquiry; by offering opportunities for research-assigned time; and by providing the material and personnel resources required for high-quality scholarship, including an excellent library with Association of Research Libraries status. Kent State University is committed to strengthening selected research and creative programs that have attained, or hold the promise of achieving, national and international prominence, as well as those that fulfill key societal goals.<

Kent State University is committed to being a catalyst in finding solutions to the social, economic and cultural challenges facing society. By means of the dissemination of results from basic and applied research conducted by its faculty and graduate students, as well as through programs offered through continuing education and at the Regional Campuses, Kent State contributes significantly to the social and economic vitality of Northeast Ohio. The many activities fostered by the university in areas such as art, music, fashion design, theatre, dance, recreation and intercollegiate athletics enrich the life of the community. Its national public radio station, university press and museum are important regional and national assets.

Dedicated to creating an atmosphere in which each individual within its diverse student body can achieve, Kent State University provides a holistic learning environment conducive to the academic and personal growth of each student. Kent State’s dynamic campus life affords students the opportunity to participate in a wide range of cocurricular activities that promote intellectual, cultural, ethical, physical, aesthetic and interpersonal development. Facilitated by an able support staff involved in the university’s planning and operation, Kent State provides strong support services to help ensure the achievement of students and faculty, as well as provide for their physical, emotional and social well-being. Kent State University has attained notable success in providing accessibility for persons with disabilities. Student life at the Kent Campus is further enhanced by the university’s distinctive and attractive residential setting with all of the advantages of major urban centers nearby.

Kent State University is committed to an environment in which the faculty, staff and student body are representative of the cultural and ethnic variety found locally, nationally and even globally. Diversity at Kent State connotes the encouragement, celebration and support of a rich mixture of people on campus. In an effort to foster an understanding of the strengths and challenges of diversity, the university provides opportunities for the open exchange of ideas and experiences among people diverse in national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, religion and veteran status.

Kent State University recognizes that the many significant contributions of alumni to their professions and to society as a whole represent the practical embodiment of the university’s educational philosophy and are a measure of its success. The university takes great pride in the achievements of its alumni and seeks to maintain close working ties with its graduates. The human and financial resources of alumni also provide essential assistance in assuring that the university will be able to continue to serve future generations.

Kent State University is committed to self-assessment as a tool to evaluate and enhance institutional effectiveness. The foregoing categories provide major areas for assessment, which at Kent State involve both internal and external measures of evaluation. Through periodic program review, preparation for external accreditations, special studies and annual planning activities, academic and support units of the university are involved in an ongoing process of self-examination and improvement. Planning at Kent State guides future directions and priority-setting to which decision-making and resource allocation are linked. Outcomes assessment plays a major role at the university in facilitating academic program improvement and change.

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