University of Akron, Stark State Announce Dual Enrollment Initiative

‘Direct Connect’ will integrate UA and SSC students into each institution.


Jake Herron

The new Stark State Akron is located on Perkins Street near the UA campus. The facility opened to SSC students in August 2018.

By Jake Herron, Online Editor

Administrators from The University of Akron and Stark State College jointly announced a new dual enrollment initiative designed to integrate students into each institution.

The announcement of the new initiative was made by both institutions during a ceremony held at Stark State Akron on Oct. 12.

The program, Direct Connect, enables students at the two schools to be enrolled in and take classes at each institution.

One of Direct Connect’s primary intentions is to give Stark State students who are currently pursuing an associate’s degree a clear path to further education at UA.

Direct Connect gives Stark State students a clear path to further education at The University of Akron. (Image courtesy of The University of Akron and Stark State College)

“One of the goals of The University of Akron is to make transferring to our programs as painless as possible so that students can continue their education seamlessly,” Interim President Dr. John Green said in a released statement.

According to a press release, students will also be able to utilize each institution’s amenities.

“Direct Connect students will be permitted the opportunity to use facilities and services offered to regularly admitted students at both SSC and UA, including libraries, career services, recreation centers, computer labs, sporting events, parking, email and internet access and more,” the release said.

Both institutions plan to stay on the same page and keep in contact with each other’s staff members to better serve students.

“Academic advisors from UA will work closely with SSC advisors and faculty members on each of SSC’s campuses and will meet directly with students enrolled in the program to ensure a worry-free transition from one campus to another,” the release said.

Stark State College, whose main campus is located 15 miles south in North Canton, offers more than 230 majors and certificates in areas such as business, healthcare, liberal arts, mathematics and technology, according to the college’s website.

15,450 students are enrolled at Stark State, compared to Akron’s 20,554.

SSC recently completed a new, 68,000-square-foot facility that houses Stark State Akron, a significant milestone in the college’s expansion into Summit County.

Stark State’s campus in Akron hosts programs in accounting, criminal justice and psychology, among other items. The new building has a capacity for 5,000 students, according to the college.

The Akron campus, located on Perkins Street near State Route 8, is just minutes from UA’s main campus. Through Direct Connect, the two institutions intend to be friendly neighbors.

UA Interim President Dr. John Green (left) and SSC President Dr. Para Jones (right), finalize the Direct Connect deal in the atrium at Stark State Akron. (Photo Courtesy of The University of Akron and Stark State College)

Dr. Para Jones, President of SSC, said that students have preferred to transfer from Stark State to UA to continue their education for several years and believes that their increased presence in Summit County will increase the transfers.

“This new level of partnership between our institutions is exciting and will continue to create opportunities for all Stark State students to fulfill their ultimate dream of earning a bachelor’s degree as an Akron Zip,” Jones said.