Kent State Becomes ‘Sister University’ to 2 High Schools in Akron, Ohio

Kent State will partner with Akron Public Schools' Firestone Community Learning Center (CLC) and Buchtel CLC to help prepare students for college and careers.
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Published on September 7, 2023
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  • Kent State University will become a "sister university" to two Akron public high schools, school officials announced in August.
  • Students at Firestone Community Learning Center (CLC) and Buchtel CLC will have access to instruction and college and career readiness training under a renewed agreement.
  • The university's partnership with Akron Public Schools began in 2018 and already includes three college and career academies at Firestone.
  • Current career academies include advanced technology, design, and performing arts.

Kent State University will serve as a "sister university" to two high schools in Akron, Ohio, under a renewed partnership, helping to prepare students for college and careers.

Kent State will be a sister university to Akron Public Schools' Firestone Community Learning Center (CLC) and Buchtel CLC as part of a renewed partnership, school officials announced in an August press release.

That partnership means that Kent State faculty will help the schools develop "integrated, career-themed content" and help students prepare for college and careers through real-world experiences, according to the release.

Akron Public Schools Superintendent C. Michael Robinson underscored the importance of the ongoing partnership, which began in 2018 and already includes three college and career academies at Firestone.

"The existing partnership between Firestone CLC and Kent State University has already proven to be a beacon of success, illuminating the path to academic achievement and career readiness for countless young minds," Robinson said. "The impact has been profound, shaping the futures of our students in immeasurable ways."

Robinson said expanding the partnership with Kent State becoming a sister university to the high schools will "continue to cultivate a generation of learners who are not only academically prepared but also equipped with the skills and determination to shape a brighter future for themselves and our community."

Kent State's three career academies at Firestone currently include design, performing arts, and advanced technology and comprehensive engineering. Those academies include internships through Kent State and other experiential learning opportunities, according to a previous release.

Kent State Senior Vice President and Provost Melody Tankersley said in the August press release that faculty and staff provided more than 3,000 hours of instruction and assistance to Akron Public Schools students during the past year.

Jim Mullen, the president and CEO of United Way of Summit & Medina, which helped form the initial partnership, said in the August release that the partnership's benefits extend well beyond the classroom.

"When youth have access to more opportunities to learn and grow, everyone benefits — the students themselves, our local businesses, and everyone who has a stake in the long-term health and success of our community," Mullen said.