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Sinclair Community College's Paralegal Program, Dayton, OH

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Sinclair Community College in Dayton, OH, can trace its history back to the Dayton YMCA. In 1887, the YMCA set aside two rooms and began offering evening classes in bookkeeping and mechanical drawing. At that time, it had 55 male students. By the time the YMCA moved to a larger building at West Third and Ludlow Streets in 1910, the college was offering a broad curriculum and improved facilities, including dormitories.

In the fall of 1929, the YMCA moved once again to an even larger building. By then, the college was offering several degrees in several disciplines and housed a school of liberal arts, the Dayton YMCA School of Commerce, the Dayton Law School, and the Dayton Technical School.

In 1948, the YMCA College was officially renamed Sinclair College, in honor of David A. Sinclair, Secretary of the Dayton YMCA from 1874-1902 and founder of its educational program. Sinclair had emigrated to Dayton from the coastal North Scotland Highlands. The new Sinclair College was authorized by the State Board of Education to continue conducting a junior college program and conferring associate's degrees in the arts and sciences.

Sinclair was selected for membership in the prestigious League for Innovation in the Community College in 1989 and became one of the League's elite Vanguard Colleges in 2001. "Vanguard" is the term designated by the League to recognize the top 12 two-year institutions in North America that consistently focus on student and learner access and success. Sinclair Community College is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association, and a member of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges. The SCC campus is located in downtown Dayton, boasts an enrollment of 24,000 students, and is one of the largest community college campuses in America.

Sinclair's paralegal program was the first program established in the Dayton area and the first to be approved by the American Bar Association. The program is designed to help students develop skills that will enable them to effectively provide legal services under the supervision of attorneys and to maintain a cutting-edge curriculum that emphasizes skills in critical thinking, writing, teamwork, and assessment. Included within the program's curriculum are courses focused on teaching legal concepts, developing practical application techniques, and implementing modern technology skills. The general education requirements of the paralegal program include theory and practice, ethical legal practice, and legal field technology courses.

Students must be accepted into the paralegal program before enrolling in program courses and must earn grades of "C" or better in all courses in order to graduate. Additionally, all paralegal students acquire hands-on experience by participating in selective internships.

Some additional benefits of Sinclair Community College's paralegal program are its day, evening, and web classes taught by experienced attorneys and paralegals, excellent internship and placement opportunities, hands-on training in law office environments, and the fact that it has the lowest tuition in the state of Ohio.

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