Kent State partnered with the College and Career Academies of Akron for new learning opportunities for high school students in the Akron Public School District. 

Kent State was named a partner in Feb. 2018 and partners with the three academies at Firestone CLC, which are the Kent State University Academy of Advanced Technology and Engineering, Kent State University Academy of Design and Kent State University Academy of Performing Arts.

Justin Hilton, senior administrator for community outreach for Kent State, said the university was excited to partner with the program. 

“...We believe and want to support their mission of becoming the number one urban school district in America, and to better equip these students to be college and career ready so that they can transition to postsecondary education and succeed,” Hilton said. 

The program was implemented for the 2019-20 school year, but began a pilot program at North High School in Sept. 2017, according to the College and Career Academies of Akron website

Rachel Tecca, director of College and Career Academies of Akron, said since beginning the program at North High School, the model produced positive trends. 

“North High School … has seen positive trends in all of their Ohio State testing results,” Tecca said. “They’ve seen some positive trends in graduation rates, and overall success in student satisfaction with the College and Career Academy model.”

Hilton said he hopes as the program grows, Kent State’s engagement with the program and ability to help high school students connect with industries will strengthen. 

“I think that we’ll ultimately be able to help the district with additional collaborative partners within industry …,” Hilton said. “That’s our number one focus, I think, when it comes to how we’re looking to help our students beyond the classroom is to connect them to our industry partners.”

Molly Heideman is an administration reporter. Contact her at mheidema@kent.edu.

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