The University of Akron Lakewood Wants To Be Your University
After years of feeling like a college town, Lakewood is getting a university. Classes at the brand-new University of Akron Lakewood begin on January 9 in the recently refurbished Bailey Building at the intersection of Detroit Avenue and Warren Road.
With the final touches being added to the facility, such as splashes of Akron’s blue and gold colors, signage, and computers, years of vision and planning have come to fruition. Community leaders, envisioning the economic impact of a university presence, sought an alternative mechanism for higher education within Lakewood. University leaders noted Lakewood’s demonstrated support for education and the arts among many other assets. UA Lakewood Director and Lakewoodite Suzanne Metelko said in terms of higher education, “For years, money has flowed out of Lakewood. University of Akron is investing in Lakewood.”
The investment in technology and state-of-the-art equipment is quite visible. Three classrooms and a conference room exhibit distance learning and video conferencing capabilities. The facility also features a community room, computer lab with 24 PCs, a testing lab and a student lounge. In addition to serving students, these spaces are available for businesses and community organizations to host meetings and events.
UA Lakewood hopes to reach out to Lakewood’s organizations and institutions, as well as other colleges in the area. “We’re not here to be a competitor; we’re here to be a collaborator,” said Metelko. UA Lakewood has already created partnerships with the City of Lakewood, Lakewood City Schools, Lakewood Public Library, Lakewood Hospital, First Federal Lakewood, Virginia Marti College and LakewoodAlive. As a member of the Innovation Alliance, UA aligns and integrates its resources with Lorain County Community College and Stark State College, and Metelko states that “anyone with curriculum” is welcome to join them.
The initial class offerings will be focused on General Education and Nursing. This spring will feature several distance learning classes and an on-site Intro to Ethics course. A workshop for middle and high school teachers will be offered in March. UA Lakewood plans to offer post-secondary options as well as workforce development programs. Metelko notes that the business community is excited about the proximity of such programs.
Registration open houses are being held on December 13 and 21 from noon to 7:00 p.m. For more information, check out the UA Lakewood website (lakewood.uakron.edu).