Akron Workforce Development Program | Stark State College | North Canton, Ohio

Akron Workforce Development Program

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part-time | full-time | seasonal | classified | unclassified

You can enroll in tuition-free courses at Stark State College!

Pursue any of Stark State’s 200 degrees and certificates – or
just take classes to enhance your knowledge – for zero tuition dollars!

The City of Akron is accepting open seat and qualified dependent applications for summer 2024. Summer applications are due May 15. Fall open seat and qualified dependent applications will be available starting June 24.

Summer classes begin June 3
Summer open seat registration begins May 20

Fall classes begin August 26
Fall open seat registration begins August 12

Documents and forms

Frequently asked questions

Overview – City of Akron employees and their IRS-Qualified dependent children can direct apply to the City of Akron Human Resources department to attend Stark State College tuition free. The City will determine eligibility for the program and then report such information to Stark State College so that the student can enroll accordingly. Employees must reapply each semester to the City of Akron Human Resource department. IRS Qualified dependents must reapply and complete a FAFSA each school year. Approval in one semester does not guarantee approval in subsequent semesters.

Please complete the attached Classified/Unclassified employee Applicant Intake Form and submit it to HR. HR will notify you if you are approved. Your next step will be to either apply to SSC as a student or if you are already a student, you can schedule your class(es).

There are two models for enrollment:

Guaranteed Seat Model for Classified Employees – If approved, classified Employees approved under the guaranteed seat plan may take up to 4 credit hours tuition exempt. Guaranteed seats are limited and approved on a first-come, first-served basis. Additionally, two weeks before the semester, employees approved under the guaranteed plan for that semester can take additional courses (as many as they wish) tuition exempt. This is called the Open Seat model. Again, they will be responsible for fees and course materials.

Open Seat Model for Classified/Unclassified Employees and IRS Qualified Dependents – Approved City employees can schedule classes in any “open seats” two weeks before the semester begins.  Employees not approved under the guaranteed plan or qualified IRS dependents of a City employee can apply to take courses under the Open Seat model only. Because the Guaranteed Seat Model limits the number of students each semester, many students will be approved under the Open Seat Model.

If approved, students who register for classes will pay all fees and course materials. Fees include a one-time processing fee of $95, web fees for online courses at $10/credit hour and a security & maintenance fee of $35/semester if taking 4 or more credits. Students are also responsible for all course materials. For more details, please visit: www.starkstate.edu/tuition

Qualified IRS Dependent children of a City employee can apply. However, they must be enrolled in and intending to complete a degree/certificate at Stark State College. Qualified dependents (QDs) simply seeking to complete a course and not a degree/certificate are not eligible for this benefit.  QDs must complete the Qualified Dependent Intake Form AND the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov AND submit all required documents to Stark State College Financial Aid. The FAFSA will determine if the QD is eligible for the Federal Pell grant first. Employees must submit the Qualified Dependent Applicant Intake Form and IRS tax return evidencing that your child is your IRS Dependent to HR. HR will notify you if your child is approved. Your child’s next step will be to either apply to SSC as a student or if he/she is already a student, he/she can schedule classes during the Open Seat period. QD’s cannot register for their classes until the Open Seat period, which is always two weeks before the semester begins.

If you are new to Stark State College, please refer to the Six Easy Steps to apply to the college. Once admitted to the college, you will be able to schedule your classes either at that time (if approved through guaranteed seat) or during the Open Seat period. If you are a returning student to SSC and have attended within the last two years, you will not need to reapply. Simply schedule your course(s) via the Open Seat or Guaranteed Seat Model timeframes.

City of Akron employees can take classes to enhance their professional and personal knowledge. Coursework that is not job-related may be approved at the discretion of HR only through the Open Seat Model. Qualified IRS-Dependents must be degree-seeking students to qualify for the program. In either scenario, students must still meet the admissions requirements to SSC.

Employees in good standing with the City are encouraged to apply directly to HR. Please contact HR for specific questions regarding your employee status.

  • Students are subject to SSC’s academic policies and procedures. In order to qualify for the WDP program in subsequent semesters, a minimum of a 2.0 grade point average must be achieved each semester. Any course with an “F” grade may result in a warning or probation. Failure to meet these minimum requirements will result in an employee probation period up to a 12-month postponement of participation from the program. Dropping courses after the first week of the term can also impact eligibility.
  • Students must pay their outstanding balance in full to maintain eligibility.

No. However, students are limited to a maximum of 21 credit hours per semester. If approved under the Guaranteed Seat Model, students will be limited to registering for up to 4 credit hours and may register for additional hours under the Open Seat Model (up to the max). If approved through the Open Seat Model, students may register up to the maximum 21 credit hours.

Yes. Financial aid can be used and will be applied first. However, the tuition benefit through the Workforce Development Program will be applied AFTER all other aid has been disbursed. If you are considering using financial assistance, please contact Stark State College’s Gateway Student Services at 330.494.6170, Option 1.

No. Seasonal, full-time, part-time classified/unclassified employees are welcome to apply as well as the IRS-Qualified children of a City of Akron employee. This does not include spouses and other types of IRS dependents.

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