(North Canton, OH – August 1, 2019) – Stark State College has unveiled the final phase of its new Akron facility, ready for students to begin fall classes Aug. 26.
The third floor of the 68,414-square-foot building at 360 Perkins St., specially designed for the College’s medical programs, is now home to a nursing, medical assisting and phlebotomy lab; simulation lab; anatomy and physiology lab; and medical coding lab; along with classrooms and office space. The College’s health programs are unique in providing human cadaver labs for undergraduate students, a rare opportunity provided by Stark State’s 24-year partnership with Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED).
The building also now boasts a lower level with electrical, CAD and computer networking labs, an additional testing center and computer labs, along with classrooms on the two levels opened last year.
Stark State Akron’s students also will enjoy additions outside: new abstract furniture and planters made possible by funding from The Knight Foundation.
Stark State opened its Akron facility a year ago, a $15.7 million project. The average age of the 1,800-plus students is 25, with half of them minorities, 70 percent holding down jobs and 60 percent first-generation college students.
Stark State Akron helps its students navigate a career choice, select a major and provides them with in-demand skills, Don Mullen, executive director of Stark State Akron said. Mullen also pointed out the numerous Akron-area partnerships launched over the past year, including the Direct Connect program with UA, a sister college arrangement with Akron Kenmore Garfield High School, a CDL truck driving school with the assistance of the City of Akron and a Career Launch program with Akron Children’s Hospital.
Summit County is now officially a part of Stark State College’s service district, and leaders from the county and the City of Akron also spoke at the unveiling event. Community and business partnerships are critical to the College’s efforts, said Dr. Para Jones, Stark State president. She credited the pool of leadership in the county as a driving force for welcoming the College as a new educational opportunity for residents.
Already the fourth largest community college in Ohio, Stark State’s addition of facilities, programs and services in Akron further expand its opportunity to provide affordable, high-quality education in focusing attention on the needs of the people of the region.
“Stark State College is very important,” Dr. Jones said, “in connecting people without jobs to really good jobs without people.”