The University of Akron (UA) is a public, four-year urban research university located in Akron, Ohio. UA’s commitment to place and its strong community ties began when it was founded as Buchtel College in 1870 by the Ohio Universalist Convention.

Throughout its history, UA’s growth as an anchor institution paralleled the growth of Akron as a major manufacturing city. This included the University developing the world’s first courses in rubber chemistry in 1909 and the formation of the Rubber Technical Institute in 1942. As tire manufacturing left the area, UA’s pioneering research helped the Rubber Capital of the U.S. evolve into the polymer center of the world. And, in 1988, UA established the world’s first College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering—now the largest academic program of its kind in the world.

Today, with about 16,000 students, UA is focused on innovation, entrepreneurship and investment in community and economic growth.

The University of Akron has a long history of hands-on and problem-based learning, as well as community-engaged activity by faculty and students. In 2016, UA launched the EX[L] Center for Community Engaged Learning which works to:

  • support, expand and create community-based opportunities that allow UA faculty and students to engage in Akron
  • sustain and develop connections between UA stakeholders and local business and non-profit changemakers
  • help students develop a connection to Akron as they explore their own interdisciplinary and innovative pathways to a degree
  • assist faculty with creating innovative, interdisciplinary, community-engaged learning strategies

EX[L] programs enable students to emerge as civically engaged, skilled and adaptable leaders who are ready to take on real-world challenges. Programs include:

  • [Un]classes: courses which serve as an interdisciplinary ‘playground’ for students, faculty and community-stakeholders to work together to experiment with various approaches to problem-solving and respond collaboratively to opportunities and challenges in our shared community.
  • Certificate in Applied Community Engagement: offered in collaboration with diverse stakeholders and community partners to cultivate the knowledges, attitudes and skills that lead to effective and equitable community engagement practice
  • Akron Community Internship Program: students interface with community partners to gain practical discipline-related experience as well as an appreciation for the broader Akron community

Join us in welcoming University of Akron back to the CUMU membership.