With curricula grounded in the best educational research plus old-fashioned teaching talent, Greater Akron schools give their students everything they need to thrive as happy, successful adults. Faith-based and all girls; boarding and public—whatever type of school you’re looking for, Greater Akron has it.
- In 2018, the foundation of NBA superstar and hometown hero LeBron James (The LeBron James Family Foundation) partnered with the Akron Public Schools to create the I PROMISE School for at-risk students. But it’s not just students who get help; their families get social support. In the first year of operation (the 2018-2019 school year), 90 percent of the students met or exceeded their growth goals in reading and math, outpacing their district peers.
- In fall 2018, Akron Public Schools launched its College & Career Academies program to align the skills of graduates with the needs of area businesses and the broader job market. The programs were developed with the nonprofit Ford Next Generation Learning and Conexus NEO, which tracked regional economic data. Based largely on that data, each school developed two to three academies with three to five pathways, ranging from biomedical engineering to dance.
- Western Reserve Academy in Hudson was named the best private school in Ohio by MSN.com.
- Hudson High School and Aurora High School received gold medals for being among the 500 best high schools in the nation in 2018, according to U.S. News and World Report.
- The Lippman School, a Jewish faith-based school in Akron, has cross-cultural partnerships with the Cheyenne Nation of Montana and a sister school in Foshan, China.
- Firestone Community Learning Center in Akron has an extraordinarily long list of famous alumni. A few names you probably know:
- Astronaut Judith Resnik (Challenger)
- Singer Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders)
- Rockers Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys)
- Olympic swimmer Mark Gangloff (2004, 2008)
- Actress Melina Kanakaredes (CSI:NY)
Other famous alums of Akron Public Schools include actor John Lithgow (Buchtel), U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove (Buchtel) and singer James Ingram (East).
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There are more than 30 colleges and universities within 50 miles of Akron. Greater Akron’s two largest universities, The University of Akron and Kent State University have a combined enrollment of nearly 65,000. These universities interact with the business community in many ways, including research, work-study programs and urban development.
The University of Akron offers post-secondary options from associate degree to doctorate programs. It also has campuses in Medina and Wayne counties.
- The College of Polymer Science and Engineering is among the top three programs of its kind in the world.
- The industrial/organizational psychology program is routinely ranked among the top 10 in the nation.
- UA is among the top 100 universities worldwide for the number of utility patents issued.
- Guzzetta Hall at UA is home to a robust dance program and the National Center for Choreography, a think tank of sorts for visiting and resident choreographers.
Kent State University has eight satellite campuses in addition to its main campus in Portage County. Its post-secondary options range from associate’s degrees to doctorates.
- KSU’s Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute is the most comprehensive research and educational center of its kind in the world.
- The Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising ranks in the top five such programs in the nation and one of the top 20 in the world.
- IN 2018, KSU received the national Health Campus Award, one of only seven colleges and universities to receive the honor.
- The school’s economic impact on Northeast Ohio is estimated to be nearly $3.4 billion.
NEOMED (formerly the Northeast Ohio College of Medicine), based in Portage County, is a joint program of The University of Akron, Kent State University, Cleveland State University, Youngstown State University and Hiram College. It has three divisions: College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy and Graduate Studies.
- NEOMED’s program in rural medicine is designed to address the lack of doctors outside of urban areas.
- The Anatomy Academy is a summer camp for secondary students to learn about human anatomy and glimpse a life of medicine.
- Each year, NEOMED puts on the annual William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition, which draws entries from all over the country. (Williams was a physician/poet). In fact, Ohio’s first poet laureate was Amit Majmudar, M.D., and a 2003 NEOMED graduate.
- NEOMED has 24 hospital and 100 pharmacy partners.
Stark State College, based in North Canton, has satellites in Akron, Alliance, Barberton and Canton proper. It offers more than 200 associate degree and certificate programs in a variety fields such as dental hygiene, engineering technologies and advanced manufacturing. It also offers dozens of online classes. Stark State currently has 1,600 students on the downtown Akron campus.
- Stark State boasts the lowest tuition in the area.
- It partners with 30 four-year colleges to make sure credits are transferable.
- The college partners with business, industries, civic entities, cities and counties to ensure they are providing graduates for in-demand jobs.