History of the College of Education

The University of Akron was once called Municipal University of Akron and offered a basic teacher preparation program. This "normal" course was a two-year course and trained students to become teachers in public education.

  • In 1914, the State Department of Public Instruction placed new standards for teacher training. Municipal University had to meet those new standards in order to continue preparing future teachers.

  • In 1915, President Kolbe and Superintendent Hotchkiss of the Akron Public Schools formed an alliance to meet the new state standards. Municipal University in cooperation with Perkins Normal School would provide students with two options. The first option gave students a B.S. degree and elementary certification from the state. The second option gave students the same degree but a choice of certification in either elementary or secondary.

  • After World War I the University took a closer look at its teacher preparation program and decided to formalize it. Municipal University and the Akron Board of Education changed the Perkins Normal School into the Teachers College of the Municipal University of Akron. Walter J. Bankes, previous head of Perkins Normal School in Akron, was appointed to the Deanship.

  • After the University gave out its first Bachelor of Education degrees in June of 1922, a master's program was begun in 1923. This program offered both a Master of Arts and a Master of Science in Education. Because of these additions, evening and summer classes began being offered, nearly doubling enrollment. 

  • In the 1930's the University considered closing the college because of the Depression and a lack of funds.  However, a renewed contract with the Akron Board of Education and the use of Spicer School and Central High School kept the college open. Then-dean Walter Bankes was replaced by Albert Spanton as Acting Dean in June of 1931.

  • In 1935, the Teachers College officially became the College of Education.

  • In 1962, the University became a state-assisted municipal university. However, recognizing the need for additional money, President Auburn and the Board of Directors began taking steps to become a full state university.

  • The University of Akron became a state university on July 1, 1967.

Source: Knepper, George W. (1970). New Lamps for Old: One Hundred Years of Urban Higher Education at The University of Akron. Akron, OH: Centennial Publication.

Deans of the College of Education

  • W. J. Bankes, M.A., 1921-1931
  • Albert I. Spanton, M.A., Litt.D., 1931-1933 (Acting Dean)
  • Howard R. Evans, Ph.D., 1933-1942
  • Hjalmer W. Distad, Ph.D., 1942-1944 (Acting Dean)
  • Howard R. Evans, Ph.D., 1944-1958
  • D. J. Guzzetta, Ed.D. LL.D., D.S.Sc., L.H.D., 1958-1959 (Acting Dean)
  • Chester T. McNerney, Ph.D., LL.D., 1959-1966
  • H. Kenneth Barker, Ph.D., 1966-1985
  • John S. Watt, Ph.D., 1985-1986 (Acting Dean)
  • Constance C. Cooper, Ed.D., 1986-1988
  • John S. Watt, Ph.D., 1988-1989 (Acting Dean)
  • William E. Klingele, Ed.D., 1989-1996
  • Rita S. Saslaw, Ph.D., 1996-1998 (Interim Dean)
  • Larry G. Bradley, Ph.D., 1998-2000 (Interim Dean)
  • Elizabeth J. Stroble, Ph.D., 2000-2004
  • Patricia A. Nelson, Ph.D., 2004-2007
  • Cynthia F. Capers, Ph.D., 2007-2009 (Interim Dean)
  • Mark D. Shermis, Ph.D., 2009-2012