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Student Success

The success of our School is tied to the success of our students. Among the most critical measures of success are freshmen retention rates and timely graduation rates. We closely monitor progress against these measures.

Retention Rates

We place significant focus on ensuring freshmen return for sophomore year, since that is traditionally the point when our largest student attrition occurs. Our progress against this measure is clear:

  • Between 2004 and 2007, an average of 75% of our freshmen returned to KSU sophomore year.
  • Between 2008 and 2011, an average of 83% of our freshmen returned to KSU sophomore year.


The largest increase in retention occurred between 2007 and 2008, when returning freshmen jumped from nearly 75% to 81%.
Kent State University, overall, experienced a similar increase in freshmen retention that year, reflecting the increased attention retention is receiving across the University.

Graduation Rates

We believe four-year graduation should be the standard for undergraduates, an emphasis shared by Kent State University, the State of Ohio, and the Federal Government. We also recognize that college is the largest investment some families will make -- especially in challenging economic times -- so we work with students to ensure they graduate on time to spend less overall on their degrees. 

Our focus on timely graduation has resulted in sharp improvements in the last three years, as four-year graduation rates have jumped by nearly 16%:

JMC: For First-Time, Full-Time Freshmen*

Starting Term Enrolled 1 Yr
2 Yrs 3 Yrs
4 Yrs
5 Yrs
6 Yrs
Fall 2006 255 0.00% 0.00% 1.96% 27.45% 49.41% 54.51%
Fall 2007
249 0.00% 0.00% 0.40% 29.32% 50.20%  
Fall 2008
208 0.00% 0.00% 1.44% 43.27%    


JMC graduation rates are ahead of graduation rates for Kent State University, overall: 

Kent State, Kent Campus:  For First-Time, Full-Time Freshmen*

Starting Term Enrolled 1 Yr
2 Yrs 3 Yrs
4 Yrs
5 Yrs
6 Yrs
Fall 2006 3,635 0.00% 0.61% 1.90% 26.93% 45.75% 51.55%
Fall 2007
3,751 0.00% 0.48% 1.71% 27.49% 45.96%  
Fall 2008
3,709 0.00% 0.75% 2.29% 30.60%    


*Students who start at Kent State but transfer and graduate from another institution, are included in Kent State freshman cohorts but do not count as Kent State graduates.

Helping Students Succeed

We are committed to providing students with the support systems necessary to stay in school, graduate on time and achieve their professional aspirations. Our proactive measures include:

  • Focused efforts on recruitment and retention. We are reaching out to students earlier in their high school careers and pursuing high-performing and high-aspirational students, especially those who have taken advanced placement (AP) courses in high school, to help prospective students adapt to college more easily.
  • Relevant and real experiences. We are committed to continually assessing and updating our curriculum to ensure its relevance and rigor, offering a top-notch learning environment with a modern, multimedia facility and exposing them to opportunities that build competence, confidence and personal brands.
  • Committed and accomplished faculty, who provide students with essential context on specific careers, as well as contacts throughout the media and communication industry.
  • Professional academic advisors, who are embedded in the School to be closer to students and faculty, and who stay with students throughout their undergraduate experience to provide individualized support.
  • A professional coordinator of career services, who works with students to help them achieve high-caliber internships and job placements.
  • A professional coordinator of diversity initiatives and a committee on diversity and globalization, committed to reaching out to all students; encouraging diversity in race, ethnicity and thought; and improving student experience overall.
  • Scholarships and monetary awards, which in 2013 reached a historic high of more than $60,000, and include two new monetary awards for freshmen, three scholarships for minority students, an endowed scholarship for international storytelling and a new scholarship to support students who pursue internships in high-cost media markets.
  • Celebrating the success of all students. In Spring 2013, we inaugurated Student Success Week to recognize the progress and success of every JMC student through School-wide activities and award and scholarship ceremonies.