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Tenth Anniversary

CLASS continues to grow, looks to ‘chart new territory’

By Jaychelle Willis

June, 19 1014

Coinciding with the Cleveland State University’s 50th anniversary, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) is making history with its 10th anniversary in 2014.

CLASS was formed in 2004 by splitting the then College of Arts and Sciences. Following the split the College of Sciences and Health Profession and CLASS, two new colleges, were created to serve the growing needs. CLASS has made its mark as a great institution that continues to evolve. It has made great strides in the right direction. CLASS has consistently grown in fall enrollment for the past five years under the leadership of Professor Gregory Sadlek, the founding dean of the college.

“I think we have come a long way in ten years,” Sadlek said. “We’ve made good progress and have a bright future ahead for the next 10 years.”

The college offers disciplinary majors for the Social Sciences, Humanities and Fine and Performing Arts. In the last decade many innovative centers of learning and research programs have been created. Such as the Black Studies program, which is an interdisciplinary academic program consisting of approximately 89 Black Studies courses focusing on historical cultural and social issues facing African American minorities. Another example includes the criminology program which as overpassed the sociology major and has become one of the leading majors for the college.

One of the most successful improvement the college has made over the 10 years is the creation of the Arts campus. With the opening of the The Galleries at CSU, art majors have a hands on experience in their career. Other programs like social work majors have approximately 300 service agencies to get training in their field. Majors such as journalism and promotional communication provide hands-on experience with The Cleveland Stater.

Sadlek said that, while not all programs currently offer a hands-on experience, each program is different. With the new grant received by the college from the university, there are now more opportunities for scholarships and internships.

Throughout the past 10 years CLASS faculty has made major improvements to ensure that student success is at the forefront of the faculty and administration priorities. One being the Class Advising Center.

“When I first got here the general ed advising was done by a university office in the Student Center,” Sadlek said. “We my first few years as dean, created a Class Advising Center.”

Although CLASS has made many strides over the years, Sadlek believes there are still some challenges the college faces.

“Now we have the challenge of focusing the college a little bit more,” Sadlek said. “We’re doing strategic plans for the next five years and trying to chart new territory.”

Improving the visibility of CLASS in the university is another focus for the college. This will help to create a sense of individuality for the college.

“My goals have been to move the college forward on several fronts and to help build a sense of identity in the college,” Sadlek said.

Assisting in this creation is Lesley Lang, Communication Coordinator for the Dean’s Office. Lang’s position was created specifically to help communicate with people what CLASS offers and what purpose its serves in the University. The creation of The Innerlink, which highlights the three main disciplines in CLASS, as well as the creation of the Newsletter has been a major success.

With academic success being the main priority, the college is pushing for faculty to be more proactive in communicating with students and advisers to ensure students are on the right track.

The timeframe for the university’s transition from the 4-credit to the 3-credit hour model in the fall was challenging. CLASS was able to come out stronger than ever with the help of faculty and administrators.

CLASS was the leading college in making the transition from 4- to 3-credit hours.
Despite the challenges of being a big institution along with a limited amount of time to make this transition, Sadlek said he was very pleased at how the faculty went beyond their normal expected duties and achieved the goals.

“I would like to mention the efforts of our associate dean, Joyce Mastboom,” Sadlek said. “I’m very proud of the work that the faculty and the chairpersons did to help make this transition.”

Moving forward, Sadlek has confidence that the college will continue to triumph.

“I think we will continue to grow,” Sadlek said. “We will be making some changes, shaping our focus. Our enrollment will continue to strengthen if we make the right choices and put our resources to work.”While CLASS is still in the planning stages for its 10th anniversary, Sadlek assures that there will be a festive celebration for CLASS constituents at this notable milestone.