The University of Akron is taking steps to better match some incoming students with the academic help they need to get started in their college careers.
The university will categorize incoming, first-time students as Preparatory, Emergent or College-Ready as one part of a new enrollment strategy. Students considered to be preparatory are those who are in need of more help - what those outside of higher education circles may call "remedial" - to be successful. Those students would be granted a conditional acceptance that would send them to community colleges that partner with UA.
The students would leave the community college with an associate degree, a likely grade point average of at least 2.7 and better skills that would enable to them to continue for a four-year degree.
"We know those students coming back to The University of Akron increase their odds of graduating by more than 30%," said UA Provost Dr. Mike Sherman.
Sherman says the plan will not only help students with lower-level coursework, but at a lower cost to them and to UA. Community colleges tend to be less expensive and have built-in support systems for a wider range of students than more traditional colleges and universities. Also, the university would be expending fewer resources on the additional support.
Sherman says it holds the university more accountable to the students and to the state.
Sherman says Akron may be ahead in the game by coming up with what he calls the most comprehensive study and resulting plan, but the concept is being weighed and possibly replicated.
"I think the universities in Northeastern Ohio are at different stages of making decisions along these lines," said Sherman.
Sherman says university officials are in the process of explaining the new strategy to high school guidance counselors and others in the region.
The University of Akron is increasing security on campus as enrollment continues to climb.
UA Police Chief Paul Callahan says they plan to add eight new officers to the force bringing the total to 44.
“We have been growing at a wonderful rate over the last 5 to 10 years. More people, you need more staff. And our commitment to the safety of the students, faculty and staff here is supported by the administration,” Callahan said.
UA will have about 1.5 officers for every 1000 students. In comparison with similar urban campuses including the University of Cincinnati and Cleveland State University, the numbers are very much alike.
Akron police is comprised of 408 officers serving about 199,000 citizens in the city. This breaks down to about 2.1 officers for every 1000 citizens.
Although the city currently has more officers for every1,000 residents, it’s important to note the size difference between the city of Akron and the campus.
“Crime is inevitable where ever you’re at, so its not that we are able to eliminate it, but we want to make it harder for the criminal element to take advantage of our students, our visitors and staff,” Callahan said.
LISTEN to more from Chief Paul Callahan
Chief Callahan describes the university as its own city comparing to Stow which has a population of about 34,000, according to the 2010 census.
“We’re a small city within a city. So, even though we are geographically a smaller area, we still have a lot of people to watch out for and provide for their safety,” he said.
Stow has 38 sworn police officers according to their website. That gives them nearly 1.1 officers for every 1000 residents compared to UA which has about 1.5 officers.
Officers Per 1000 Students
University of Akron
University of Cincinnati
Cleveland State University
Officers per 1000 Residents
Kent State has approved a $578.7 million budget for the current school year during a trustees meeting Wednesday.
The budget grew about 6.3 percent from last year's and will include a one percent raise pool for employees.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the additional income will come mostly from tuition and fees with undergraduate charges up 3.5 percent this fall.
Although, the cost health insurance for employees may increase after appropriations from the state decreased by $13.4 million.
Enrollment at KSU has grown 2 percent giving the university an all-time record of 42,185 students.
On the Web: www.ohio.com
The University of Akron is seeing a small increase in enrollment, but the jump is not as significant as it has been in previous years.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that around 29,000 students registered for classes, which is about a 1 to 1.5 percent increase from last fall's numbers.
In previous years, the university has seen an increase from 4 to 7 percent in enrollment.
The amount of freshman enrolled this year is similar to the past year coming with a total of 4,800 students. A record number of 1,173 transfer students enrolled this year making a jump of 8 percent from last year.
The number of credit hours students are taking have also increased for the third consecutive year.
Kent State students begin classes on Monday and they expect to see an increase in enrollment. Last year, they had more than 41,000 students.
On the Web: www.ohio.com
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