Lackawanna College's development into the premier community-oriented two-year college in Northeastern Pennsylvania parallels the development of the region. With the growth of the railroads in the 19th Century, demand for the clean-burning anthracite coal greatly expanded. As Scranton emerged as the hub of the nation's coal industry, the Scranton Business College was founded in 1894 to train administrative and fiscal managers and their support personnel.
The College began as a proprietary institution with a full academic program under the direction of H.D. Buck and A.R. Whitmore. John H. Seeley, a noted regional educator, purchased it in 1912. Seeley, who also owned the Lackawanna Business College, merged his two institutions into the Scranton Lackawanna Business College and built a new campus in the city's downtown.
The word "Business" was eventually dropped from the school's name as too restrictive and civil service courses were added to prepare students for governmental positions. The College met with continued success because of its ability to change with the times. With the coming of World War II, the school made a concerted effort to train women for positions in business and industry. After the war, the College adapted its programs once more to meet the needs of returning veterans.
In 1957, the College was incorporated as a non-profit institution under a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. Chartered as Lackawanna Junior College, course offerings were expanded to include the humanities and the social and behavioral sciences. The Pennsylvania Department of Education granted Lackawanna the right to award associate degrees.
The College is accredited by the Commission of Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, thereby permitting transfer of Lackawanna credits to other accredited institutions. If you wish to receive a copy of the College’s accreditation documentation, please contact the Academic Affairs Office at Academics@lackawanna.edu. It features an open admissions policy and, in addition to its academic degree programs, offers non-credit continuing education courses. Lackawanna also operates the EMS Academy and the Police Academy, which teach the subjects vital to those professions.
The College has satellite centers in New Milford, Hazleton, Hawley and Towanda. In 1994, Lackawanna purchased the former Central High School building in downtown Scranton. After over two years of restoration and renovation, Lackawanna moved into the historic building in 1996.
The Scranton Campus has grown even more with the acquisition of several other buildings including the Student Union (former Catholic Youth Center), Seeley Hall, Healey Academic Center, Alumni Fitness Center, McKinnie Hall and Tobin Hall.