‘No-knowledge college’ is a term I want stricken from Northern Kentucky University’s vocabulary. In fact, I want that attitude eliminated from NKU’s student body altogether.
Good news is that stigma is slowly fading away, according to Chris Cole, director of Media Relations and Communications.
‘A school’s perception of itself generally lags behind reality by about ten years,’ Cole said.
Cole said he believes NKU’s perception of itself is getting much better.
‘NKU has grown in size, reputation, athletic prowess, etc.. And that perception is quickly spreading beyond campus,’ Cole said.
Considering the 35 percent increase in NKU applicants since last year, one has to wonder why the numbers have soared so high. Is it because of the recession and the proximity to Cincinnati paired with lower tuition rate compared to other schools? Is it because of NKU’s growing status? A combination of both?
‘There was a time when NKU was chosen by students because it was affordable and close,’ Cole said. ‘But I hear from students more and more that that’s not why they came to NKU. It’s things like the quality of programs, new facilities and things like that.’
So, why is it if students are gaining more Norse pride, our athletic events still have very low attendance rates?
‘We’d love it to be higher, but basketball attendance is increasing and we have lots of people at our soccer games,’ Cole said of the attendance.
Cole attributed some of our attendance problems to a few reasons.
‘We’re next to a major metropolitan area and there’s lots to do,’ he said.
Our athletic events are competing with musical venues, professional sports and other entertainment in the area. The fact that we are Division II also prevents some students, who otherwise would attend, from attending the games at all, he said.
Despite the fact that we can brag about all of our teams making the NCAA tournaments last year, some cannot get over division classification. Although we’re not Division I, our teams are phenomenal. We need to support them more and get excited to see them play.
‘A portion of the student body is always going to be frustrated or unhappy about their experience,’ Cole said.
However, after administering a survey of graduating seniors last year, Cole quoted 92 percent of graduates who would recommend NKU to those looking to attend college.
‘You can’t ever have 100 percent of students buy into a school’s mission or its vision,’ he said.
He does have some advice for students who are unhappy with their college experience at the university:’Figure out what it is that’s frustrating you and address it.’
Whether it be parking or a bad class you’ve taken, Cole said that if it doesn’t get fixed, at least it can be addressed.
Even though we can’t have 100 percent satisfaction all the time, NKU has continued to improve, and will continue in the future. I want to see more students embracing Northern’s advancement.
‘I talk to people who graduated about ten years ago, and they can’t believe how much the campus has grown and NKU has evolved.’ Cole said.