Today's Update: Thursday, February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Dear Student Life team,

I’m sure you know that Ohio State has regional campuses in Lima, Marion, Mansfield and Newark as well as the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences campus at Wooster. But have you thought about the important role they play in our university system and what Student Life does to help support a full Buckeye experience at each of those locations? 

That was the theme of the presentation I made during this week’s university Board of Trustees meeting.  

Ohio State’s regional campuses are vital in providing access to an affordable, high-quality education taught by Ohio State’s distinguished faculty while giving students an option for a smaller campus experience.  A smaller campus does not mean that the campus experience is diminished in any way – student engagement on the regional campuses is a critical component of student’s iconic Buckeye experience and their overall success.

Student engagement is key to student success--it matters. When we ask students on the regional campuses how satisfied they are with their overall Ohio State experience, 94% of students who were engaged on campus report being satisfied compared to 86% of their peers who were not engaged. That’s an 8-percentage point difference.  

I told the Trustees how we have intentionally built connection points for engagement with our colleagues on each campus, including monthly standing meetings between leads on each campus to share resources and information and discuss successes, challenges and places for collaboration. 

In addition to supporting housing (Newark, Mansfield, Wooster) and dining (Mansfield, Newark, Marion, Wooster), Student Life is an integral part of each campus. For example, the Second-Year Transformational Experience Program (STEP) was developed on the Columbus campus in partnership with the Office of Academic Affairs and now each regional campus runs their own, campus-specific version of the program. The Student Experience and Engagement Delegates, or SEEDs, is open to students from all campuses and provides students with community and direct connection with other student leaders and Dean Danny Glassmann. 

Many of our services in Student Life are available to students on all campuses – and this is even more true after the pandemic as we expanded our virtual service offerings – students on regional campuses regularly participate in activities like career coaching through Buckeye Careers, virtual Counseling and Consultation Service drop-in workshops on topics like motivation or perfectionism, financial wellness coaching through the Student Wellness Center and Leadership and Community Engagement’s leadership workshops. 

We’re looking for more ways to collaborate with our regional campuses. We’re actively working to expand Student Employment Experience (SEE) across campuses, and we’ve already onboarded several supervisors from regional campuses to the program. We also have a long-term goal of incorporating parents and families from regional campuses into our office of Parent and Family Relations communication platform so they can opt in to find out what is happening on campus. 

I want to give an early High Five to a few people who appeared in a video we prepared and showed to the Trustees, including Marion Student Life Program Coordinator Candace Floyd, Mansfield’s Assistant Dean for Student Success Dr. Donna Hight, and Ohio State Lima second-year student Kyira Knous.   

Obviously, we couldn’t convey to the Board members ALL the ways we support our regional campuses. The meeting would still be going on next week if I did. Still, it was important for them, and you, to know what we are doing and how we intend to do even more in the future to make the connections between campuses Scarlet and Greater.  


Melissa S. Shivers, PhD 
Senior Vice President for Student Life  
The Ohio State University