Changing the Classroom

Changing the Classroom

With more than 200 majors and minors offered at Kent State University, it is hard to fathom the wide variety of possible classes for students. On a campus that nearly 30,000 undergraduates roam on a day-to-day basis, you can get lost in the crowd.

After speaking to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Todd A. Diacon, I gathered more information on student’s interest and what classes seemed to be causing a buzz.

By far the most interesting class the Provost brought up was wine tasting. In recent semesters, this class has gained a lot of leverage, drawing interest throughout the Kent State community. It is possible for any student of rightful age to attend this hands on class, but the catch is, Kent State students are unable to actually major in wine tasting. In order to obtain the highly coveted “wine tasting degree” a student would have to travel to Kent States’ branch campus in Geagua. According to the numbers this has not stopped the herds of students, young and old, from flocking to the classroom to sip on some grape juice.

One trend that was highly evident is the consistent popularity in online classes. More than two thirds of students have, or are currently enrolled in an online class. This number is a large part due to the staggering amount of students who commute to Kent and it’s branch campuses across Northeast Ohio. It is almost the norm to have an “electronic seat” in an online class if you are a Kent State student. Even for those undergraduates who live on campus, online classes seam to be trending more now than ever before. One student who lives in the Olson Hall’s learning community, Taylor Meade, is enrolled in four online classes compared to just one face-to-face class. Taylor is definitely in the minority when looking across campus and tallying students online workload. I am interested in diving into the two thirds number and finding out why this is such a popular trend on campus.

Everyday around the Kent State campus, student athletes roam the campus in their team’s gear. I am interested in learning what some of these standout athletes are majoring in, and how their classroom experience differs from the average student. I would love to look at what seems to be the trend through the years, compiling some of standout athletes and looking at what their class schedules were like compared to some of the current student athletes enrolled. Sticking to my assigned beat, classes and curriculum, I would have the opportunity to stretch and cover this story. If this could be turned into a story it would generate interest across campus, as the student athletes on campus are often the most well known figures.

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