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Kent State more diverse under Lefton
President Lefton tells Board of Trustees of increased minority enrollment; spending with minority firms up five-fold

Kabir Bhatia
In The Region:
Kent State is more diverse today than it was when President Lester Lefton started in 2006. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports on the figures from today’s Kent State trustees meeting.
Kent State more diverse under Lefton

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President Lefton wants the school to better reflect the general population, and says it’s rapidly headed in that direction. The number of Black, Hispanic and Native-American students has jumped by 74 percent since 2006. But Lefton says their graduation rate is still too low. That’s why he’s keen on programs like “Academic Stars,” which takes 25 incoming minority students and spends $200,000 preparing them for college.

“Many students who come from families where they have not gone to college yet don't know these things. And by entering into a boot camp that sort of preps them for what this is going to be like makes for a much smoother transition.”The program pushes graduation rates up from about 75 percent to 89. But Lefton says growing “Academic Stars” is dependent on the school’s budget in the future.

Lefton also noted that Kent State’s spending with minority-owned firms has grown by a factor of five during his tenure.The trustees also approved the creation of a Construction Management major, and the establishment of a recruiting center in Brazil.
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