Johnson College, a two-year technical college, was founded by Orlando S. Johnson, a wealthy coal baron in the Scranton area who died in 1912. Mr. Johnson left the bulk of his estate to establish and maintain a trade school and his purpose became the mission of the College as an institution “where young men and women can be taught useful arts and trades that may enable them to make an honorable living and become contributing members of society.”
A board of directors was created and a 65-acre tract in Scranton known as the William H. Richmond estate was selected as the site for the new enterprise. Opening in 1912, the school admitted young men and women who had completed a minimum of eight years of school and were 14 years old.
Today, approximately 400 students pursue degrees in 13 different trade, technical, or clinical programs. The College’s eight buildings include a library, gymnasium, physical fitness center, classrooms, shops, laboratories, administrative offices and a student apartment complex for on-campus living.
Over the years, Johnson College has served the region by providing programs of technical education and continually evaluates its programs to meet the technology needs of society. This evaluation process is assisted by the Program Advisory Committees of each program area, consisting of regional business and community leaders who meet several times during the year to advise the College on curriculum content, length of programs, and current materials and equipment. They also review placement and retention statistics. The College has maintained the initial intent of Mr. Johnson with a professional and dedicated staff to ensure up-to-date training that prepares graduates to readily step into entry-level positions in business and industry.
The current student body is comprised of approximately 71% males and 29% females. The students spend 60% of their time in technology courses and the remainder in general education classes. The College has an extensive program of internships, cooperative education and practicum with a variety of businesses and professional organizations.
Today, Johnson College is a valuable resource for the changing technological needs of our society.