History of Lakeland University
Lakeland University traces its beginnings to German immigrants who traveled to North America and eventually to the Sheboygan area where they settled in 1847. Even as they struggled for food and shelter, these pioneers thought in terms of higher education for their children.
In 1862, they built Missionshaus (Mission House), a combined academy-college-seminary. The school provided training in the liberal arts followed by a traditional seminary curriculum, as most of the students were destined to become ministers. As the needs of students changed, Mission House gradually broadened its purpose. By the end of the century, enrollment was no longer limited to pre-theological students and the college had developed strong programs of study in a number of disciplines.
A talented, scholarly faculty set high standards for the college early in its existence, standards which have been maintained to this day. Known simply as Mission House for 95 years, the college adopted the name Lakeland in 1956. Higher education was evolving, and the seminary moved to Minneapolis/St. Paul in 1962 to become United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. The era of Mission House had ended, but Lakeland College became heir to its campus, tradition, and educational mission.
Over the next 60 years, Lakeland evolved to meet the needs of students around the state and around the world. Beginning in 1978, Lakeland began to meet the needs of a growing population of working adults who sought advanced coursework by developing evening degree programs at seven centers throughout Wisconsin. Accreditation was extended to online undergraduate degree programs in 1998 and graduate programs in 2002. Today, students taking classes in Lakeland’s Evening, Weekend and Online program make up a significant percentage of the university’s student body.
Lakeland also delivers an accredited program through its branch campus in Tokyo, Japan. Lakeland’s Japan campus was developed in 1989-90, gained accreditation in 1991 and 1993, and uses the Wisconsin campus’s general education requirements as the foundation for its Associate of Arts degree. In December 2005, Lakeland College Japan became the second U. S. branch campus in Japan to receive official Japanese recognition as an institution of higher education.
In 2016, the institution changed its name to Lakeland University in order to reflect the broad array of programming it provides. However, its core identity as an independent, private, liberal arts university related to the United Church of Christ remains. The university’s undergraduate and graduate programs are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Lakeland’s teacher education program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation Programs (CAEP).
The ambition of Lakeland University is less to be large than to be effective; its aim is not to rank first in size, but to rank first in helping students realize their potential for intellectual growth. Valuing excellence above all else, Lakeland’s commitment is to enhance student access to educational resources, student closeness to faculty and staff mentors, and student success in both classrooms and careers.
The History of the William R. Kellett School of Adult Education
To meet the needs of a growing population of working adults, the college established its Lifelong Learning program, which was accredited in 1978 and is now known as the William R. Kellett School of Adult Education or the Evening, Weekend and Online Program. Lifelong Learning began with three off-campus locations. There are currently seven centers throughout the state of Wisconsin and Lakeland University Online. The Kellett School offers 14-week online and onsite courses during the fall and spring terms, 10-week courses during summer term, and 7-week online accelerated courses in all terms in addition to BlendEd® LIVE courses leading to baccalaureate and graduate degrees.
While students in Lakeland University’s William R. Kellett School of Adult Education do not enjoy many of the benefits available to on-campus students, for example, participation in athletics and student government, they do receive a challenging, academically rigorous program of study.
The John Esch Library
The John Esch Library is located at the center of the main campus and is open to all Lakeland University students. The library’s collection includes more than 71,000 books. The university also subscribes to over 200 academic journals, newspapers, and magazines. As a member of Eastern Shores Information Catalog (EASICAT), the university has local access to over 1,400,000 additional items. Lakeland students have access to the following academic databases via lakeland.edu: BadgerLink, ProQuest, JSTOR, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, LexisNexis, Morningstar, Opposing Viewpoints, the Oxford English Dictionary, and Psychotherapy.net.