On Jan. 20, 2023, Akron Public Schools (APS) formally welcomed Stark State College (Stark State) as a sister college to East Community Learning Center (CLC). The partnership is Stark State’s second sister college agreement with APS and is in addition to the partnership it already has with Garfield CLC.
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 East CLC to develop career-themed classroom content. It will also contribute by designing and presenting so called problem-based learning opportunities, and providing parent and student workshops. Stark State also plans to guide families through the college admissions process, and offer valuable enrichment opportunities.
“The continuity that partners such as Stark State provide is essential to the ongoing success of College & Career Academies. Not only are they creating exciting opportunities for our scholars by preparing them for life after high school, but they are also helping strengthen the entire program by showing their faith in Akron Public Schools,” said Superintendent Christine Fowler Mack.
“We are thrilled to become a ‘sister college’ to East CLC and build upon our strong collaboration with Akron Public Schools,” said Stark State College President Para M. Jones. “We look forward to working with the students, teachers, parents and staff of East to promote college and career readiness, building a stronger Akron and Summit County.”
The collaboration between Akron Public Schools and Stark State was formed with the help of United Way of Summit & Medina. United Way serves 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.
“The future of our community depends on the next generation of leaders, innovators and professionals,” said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit & Medina. ”By partnering with Akron Public Schools, Stark State College is helping to ensure that students are ready for what comes after high school and that our community has a strong and vibrant talent pool.”
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 & Medina, ConxusNEO, Summit Education Initiative, and Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce.