Fenn 100

Engineering and Business Lead to Bachelor’s Degree

YMCA Building Circa 1923
Date of Event: 
Tuesday, August 28, 1923

In 1923, “Y-Tech” offered the first college credit day classes (courses toward a bachelor's degree) in the disciplines of engineering, accounting and commerce (also known as business). 

This is why 1923 is the official founding date of Fenn College. In addition in this same year, Y-Tech (what would become Fenn College) was the fourth college in Ohio to adopt a cooperative education program—alternating periods of classroom work with on-the-job work experience. Required for all-day students, this co-op split schedule was optional for evening students.

Classes were held in the Central Cleveland YMCA Building (southeast corner of Prospect Avenue and East 22nd Street pictured above) and three converted residences: the Johnson House, the Edwards House and the Medical Building, also on Prospect Avenue at East 22nd Street.

Y-Tech sought to attract students for whom college might have otherwise been financially unattainable by adopting cooperative education as a requirement for its day division students. This program of alternating classroom work with actual work experience in the student's major field allowed students to earn money for tuition is still alive and well today in the Washkewicz College of Engineering (known as the Fenn Co-op) and in the Monte Ahuja College of Business for Information Systems students.