Starting our fall semester
I hope that you and your family enjoyed your summer and are doing well as we head into fall. The semester is well underway, and we cautiously anticipate an uninterrupted fall.
Over the last several months, we joined Kent State University's faculty, staff, and leadership, as well as local and national authorities and health experts, to develop a return-to-campus plan that best protects our students, faculty, and staff. "Flashes Safe Seven" was created to guide this reopening by encouraging the wearing of facial coverings and practicing physical distancing. Along with these principles, our grounds and building staff worked diligently to ensure protective barriers, sanitation stations, and safe distancing markers were placed around campus. We are fully committed to maintaining a safe environment at our campus for faculty, staff, students and visitors.
While some courses are still being offered face to face at the campus, particularly those that require labs, the majority of our fall courses are being taught remotely and our faculty and campus instructional designer have worked diligently to make sure this is done in an engaging manner. I would also note that many of our faculty participated in additional training opportunities offered through Kent State University’s Center for Teaching and Learning over the summer as they prepared to teach in a remote environment. Even as many of our faculty teach remotely, they are fully committed to providing an exceptional educational experience for our students.
To ensure that all of our students succeed, we have increased our virtual capabilities. We now have virtual advising appointments, counseling services, and tutoring services. We added online chat options to our website and campus app. We continue planning student events to help students meet one another and we are in the process of choosing a Kent State Trumbull Homecoming Court for the fourth consecutive year.
With all this being said, our enrollment, as I write this, is up from last year. Our affordability and convenience continue to attract students. However, it is our faculty and staff that makes students feel at home and want to continue here at our Kent State in the Valley. Over the last several years, we have increased our efforts to attract high-achieving students. Our automatic freshmen scholarships for students with a 3.0 GPA or better cover 15-65 percent of our already low tuition. Last year, we added a full-tuition/four-year scholarship for students with a 4.0!
Unfortunately this fall, we have suspended our athletic programs which include cross country, bowling, and esports. We've also postponed live theatre. Hopefully, we will be able to resume these student activities in spring.
We continue our support of the community and many of the organizations that we feel are critical to our youth. These include Inspiring Minds, Junior Achievement, United Way, and many more. As you will see below, we recently signed an official agreement to become home to a Siffrin Academy to help people with disabilities transition from high school to jobs or advanced education programs.
We will continue to examine ways to leverage our assets to best serve the needs of all members of our local community. I appreciate your support and as always, I encourage you to reach out to me with ideas or questions about our campus. I wish you all the best this fall season and stay well.
Daniel E. Palmer, Ph.D.
Interim Dean and Chief Administrative Officer
Kent State University at Trumbull