History & Mission
Lakeland University Japan (LUJ) began as a vision of developing the U.S. home campus (Lakeland College - Wisconsin) as a destination for international students. In 1991, the Board of Trustees of Lakeland College approved a plan to establish a two-year academic program in Tokyo, and by 1993 the representatives of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges approved LCJ as an accredited branch campus offering an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree.
Throughout the past twenty-five years, LUJ has continously evolved and expanded. Its "2 + 2" system has served as a spring board to educate and transfer countless Japanese students to the home campus in Wisconsin, as well as over 100+ other institutions throughout the U.S. and around the world.
A major change in the colleges' identity changed in December of 2005, as the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) recognized LCJ as an overseas branch campus, culminating in several years of negotiation between the U.S. and Japanese governments. This resulted in LUJ's ability to sponsor student visas to non-Japanese students. LCJ now maintains a consistent international student body of approximately thirty-percent, and to date has been called "home" to students from over forty-five countries.
Lakeland University Japan (timeline)
1862 - The Mission Haus, the precursor of Lakeland College (home campus), was established in a rural area near sheboygan, Wisconsin. It served as a seminary for the Church of Christ.
1956 - Lakeland College was established as a Liberal Arts College on the site of Mission Haus. The seminary function of Mission Haus was moved to another location.
1989 - Lakeland College first considered opening a branch campus in Japan, located in Otsuka, Toshima Ward. Dr. David Black, who became president of Lakeland College in this year, had a vision of developing Lakeland College as a destination for international students, broadening the experiences of local students in Wisconsin.
1991 - The Board of Trustees of Lakeland College approved a plan to establish a two-year academic program in Tokyo.
1993 - Representatives of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges visited the Tokyo campus to evaluate the program and decided to designate Lakeland College Japan (LCJ) as an accredited branch campus offering an Associate of Arts degree (a two-year degree) as a result of its investigation.
1996 - The president of Lakeland College signed a sister-school agreement with the directors of Nevada International College (NIC) through which NIC, located in Tokyo. The LCJ campus moved from Mejiro to Shinjuku.
2003 - Lakeland College initiated a Study Abroad Program for the Japan campus in order to provide a more international atmosphere.
2005 - In December of this year, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology recognized Lakeland College Japan as an overseas branch campus, culminating in several years of intense negotiation between the U.S. and Japanese governments.
2006 - Successful enrollment of the first non-Japanese, full-time students.
2007 - LCJ established two major community outreach programs: the Open College (continuing education) offering non-degree-bearing classes to members of the public in the evenings and on weekends, and the Lakeland Lectures, a once-a-month free lecture series held on campus and open to the public.
2008 - LCJ moved locations within Shinjuku to a much larger campus, accommodating growing enrollment. LCJ program and operations were reviewed again by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, and received accreditation approval for ten years, the longest possible reaccreditation period.
2010 - LCJ concluded an agreement with the School of Global Studies (SGS), Tama University, which included student exchanges, a joint-faculty development program and easy transfer for LCJ graduates to SGS's four-year degree program. Also as a result of the same negotiations, Lakeland College and Tama University signed a student-exchange agreement.
2012 - Ambassador John Roos visited LCJ; the first visit by a U.S. ambassador.
2014 - The percentage of non-Japanese students exceeded thirty percent of the student body for the first time.
2015 - LCJ enrollment reached a record high, requiring the school to completely renovate its facilities. LCJ expanded its facilities by establishing the Stephen and Susan Gould Center in a nearby location, which added four classrooms, two meeting rooms and a large amount of study space. LCJ also expanded into a third building for two additional classrooms and study space. The main building was completely renovated and a new administative office was established. Also in this year, LCJ commenced a feasability study to determine whether it should offer a four-year program.
2016 - LCJ will celebrate its 25th anniversary in Japan. Lakeland College became Lakeland University on July 2; a change reflected at both the Wisconsin home campus and the Japan campus. In the same month, Lakeland celebrated its 25th anniversary in Japan.
Lakeland University Mission Statement
Lakeland University educates women and men of diverse backgrounds, preparing them to think critically, to communicate effectively, to succeed professionally, and to lead ethical, purposeful and fulfilling lives. Rooted in the values of the United Church of Christ, Lakeland integrates the liberal arts and experiential learning to develop the whole person for success in a dynamic, multi-faceted world.
The values of Lakeland University are informed by its relationship with the United Church of Christ and continuing commitment to the liberal arts:
- Inquiry and Academic Excellence. We are a community committed to learning, discovery and creativity as ongoing endeavors. We maintain high standards of academic rigor and expectations for achievement that drive the acquisition and application of knowledge through the liberal arts and practical learning opportunities.
- Integrity and Responsibility. We are a community that is open, honest and ethical. We are accountable to ourselves, each other and the college to uphold the mission and values of the institution.
- Faith and religious expression. We are a community that values the study and exploration of faith and religious beliefs. We invite one another to investigate what it means to live a spiritual, meaningful and purposeful life.
- Diversity and Respect. We are a community that welcomes all people regardless of their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability or country of origin. We value differing backgrounds, cultures and viewpoints and accept our responsibility to treat each other with fairness, compassion and civility.
- Service and Stewardship. We are a community committed to socially responsible service at the institutional, local, regional, national and global levels. We embrace our role as caretakers of the resources of the institution and society.
As a liberal arts university offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees, Lakeland provides students with an education that is broad in scope, comprehensive in spirit, and focused in at least one area of study. Through its curricular and co-curricular programs, the educational experience is designed to prepare students who:
- communicate clearly in speech and writing;
- think critically and reason intelligently across disciplines;
- have acquired the capacity to solve problems through analysis and evaluation;
- have an understanding of the natural world through scientific inquiry;
- are aware of the historical, social, and cultural forces that shape the United States and the international community;
- have an understanding of Christian religious traditions, the role of religion in society and culture, and religious insights into ethics and values;
- have an appreciation and understanding of how the arts enrich life and contribute to culture; and
- are prepared to contribute to their chosen profession, to participate within their communities, and to continue to seek knowledge throughout their lives.