University College Students


Celeste Dawson credits Kent State’s EXCEL program for making the Kent Campus feel like a second home.

EXCEL Helps Student Find Her Fit

Celeste Dawson had made up her mind. She was not going to attend college and that was her final decision. 

Her story could have ended there, but the support of her parents and a program at Kent State University opened up a new chapter in her life – one filled with opportunities she never imagined.

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>> Five national awards, two internationally certified programs, and more than $5 million in grant funding in the last 5 years.

>> Involvement in Destination Kent State: New Student Orientation increases students feeling connected to campus, ability to find resources they need, and increases their feeling of being prepared to start college.

Kellie Miley standing among greenery and plants

From Failing Grades to a Master’s Degree, How Kent State Helped a Student Get Back on Track

Kellie Miley is the first to admit, when she graduated from Rootstown High School in 2008, she was not ready for college. In high school, she barely cracked a book yet managed a 3.2 grade point average (GPA).

Getting by with little effort changed when she started as a freshman at Kent State University. By the end of the year, Ms. Miley found herself academically dismissed for poor grades.

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>> Students who regularly attend services offered by the Academic Success Center are 11.4% more likely to return for the next academic year than their classmates.

>> Students who attend 6+ Academic Success Center sessions per semester earn 0.65 higher course GPA on average.

Student Elijah Kirkland-Boyce stands on the Kent State Ice Rink

On the Brink of Losing His Dream of a College Degree, Student Turns to Kent State's Support Services

During his first year at Kent State University, Elijah Kirkland-Boyce realized that the road to the Dean’s List was a bumpy one, filled with twists and turns he never could have anticipated. Instead of giving up, Mr. Kirkland-Boyce reached out. He started taking advantage of the resources offered through Student Support Services.

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>> Career Exploration and Development helps our students find on-campus employment and these students are more likely to earn higher grades and stay in school.

>> “Early and Often” – Freshmen engage in career experiences at the same rate as senior students.

After all she has overcome, Diamond Lauderdale credits Kent State with helping her reach her dreams.

Kent State Student Finds Purpose, Passion and Empowerment

For Diamond Lauderdale, Kent State University is not only her chosen college, it is her new home.

While growing up in Akron, Ohio, Ms. Lauderdale’s home life was challenging. She lived with her disabled father and worked two jobs to help make ends meet. Ms. Lauderdale’s father has been unable to walk for many years, and as she got older, her father’s condition worsened. Through it all, Ms. Lauderdale held onto a dream. She wanted to get a college education.

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>> Students that participate in the Exploratory Advising Center’s EXCEL Living Learning Community are nearly 10% more likely to return to Kent State compared to their peers.

>> Student Support Services exceeded all Department of Education performance goals by 10% or more:

  • 92% of participants are persisting towards graduation
  • 88% of participants are in “Good Academic Standing”
  • 70% of participants graduate in 6 years
Mackenzie Bailey standing in front of a blue and gold wall

Kent State's EXCEL Learning Community Supports Student After Devastating Loss

Like most students, Mackenzie Bailey faced the typical challenges during the start of her academic career, including choosing a major and getting good grades. But that all paled in comparison to the devastating news she received her freshman year: her father had terminal cancer.

“When I was home for winter break, he ended up passing away,” Ms. Bailey said.

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>> Community Engaged Learning and the Campus Kitchen at Kent State recover more than 80,000 lbs of food and create nearly 15,000 meals a year for those in need in our surrounding communities.

>> Students make more than 30,000+ visits to the Academic Success Center each year and see a positive impact on their GPA.