(Akron Public Schools) Today Akron Public Schools (APS) formally welcomed Stark State College (Stark State) as a sister college to Kenmore-Garfield High School. The partnership is part of the growing community of businesses and organizations engaging in the new College & Career Academies for APS high schools. More than 100 business and community leaders gathered at Stark State College for the announcement.
Modeled after "Sister Cities" that were launched by President Dwight Eisenhower's administration in 1956 to help cities share best practices, a sister college will give support and provide resources to APS students as they explore various college and career options. Stark State College will work with teachers at Kenmore-Garfield to develop career-themed classroom content; design and present "problem-based" learning opportunities; provide parent and student workshops and assistance on the college admissions process; and offer valuable enrichment opportunities.
APS Superintendent David James said at today's announcement, "We are thrilled that Stark State College has agreed to be the first named partner for Kenmore-Garfield High School. Its partnership will enhance the academic experience for our students and guide students and families on a path toward higher learning."
Kenmore-Garfield Principal Kathryn Rodocker added, "Whether a student's path is employment, enrollment in college or enlistment in the military, Stark State College will help ensure that he or she is prepared."
"We welcome this new partnership with Akron Public Schools as an extension of our current collaborative efforts with the district," said Stark State College President Para M. Jones, Ph.D. "Stark State College is proud to work with Kenmore-Garfield as a 'sister school' to support college and career readiness and success for all students. We look forward to working with students, teachers, parents and staff to achieve these important goals, which align with APS career academy goals and the economic development plan for Akron and Summit County."
The partnership between Akron Public Schools and Stark State College was formed with the help of United Way of Summit County. Last year, APS announced that United Way would serve as a link between the College and Career Academies of Akron and local businesses to provide hands-on learning opportunities for students and to strengthen the education-to-employment pipeline in Summit County.
"This partnership represents an incredible opportunity," said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit County. "More than ever before, post-secondary education and career training are essential to the success of our youth. By helping prepare the students of Kenmore-Garfield for college, Stark State is bringing them one step closer to a successful career, a stable livelihood and the chance to make their mark on the future of our community."
APS was designated a Ford Next Generation Learning Community in May 2017. Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, is supporting the transformation of public high schools into career-themed academies to better prepare students for college and professional success in today's competitive global economy. College and Career Academies of Akron are supported by the following key strategic partners: GAR Foundation, United Way of Summit County, ConxusNEO, Summit Education Initiative and Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce.
About Akron Public Schools:
Akron Public Schools (APS) enrolls more than 21,000 students and employs 3,000 teaching and non-teaching professionals in Northeastern Ohio. The district, one of the state's largest and most diverse, covers 62 square miles in a city of 195,000. APS educators are committed to rigorous teaching and learning, safe learning centers, and community engagement to prepare young people to be well rounded and ready for the challenges of learning that follow in life. The goal of APS is to be the #1 urban school system in the United States. For more information about Akron Public Schools, visit AkronSchools.com.
About Stark State College:
Stark State College focuses on affordable, quality higher education that propels students to career success or launches them toward advanced degrees. The College offers more than 230 associate degrees and certificates in business, education, engineering technologies, health, human and public services, information technology, liberal arts, mathematics, and sciences. Stark State also works closely with business and industry to train a skilled workforce in meeting talent pipeline needs for in-demand jobs. The College enrolls more than 14,000 students, about a quarter of whom are from the Akron area. Stark State College Akron is a new 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility at 360 Perkins St. Learn more at starkstate.edu/akron.
About United Way of Summit County:
United Way of Summit County takes on the issues that matter most to children and families in Greater Akron. We pursue Bold Goals through forward-thinking strategies, innovative programs and hands-on work in our community. We team up with private and public leaders, local businesses, and thousands of volunteers from across our community to create change that matters. Together, we are hand raisers. Game changers. Because there's a better future in store for Greater Akron, and the time is now to make it happen. Learn more at uwsummit.org.