Keskuspuisto Vocational College has a valuable history. Its educational
activities date back to the 1940s when the Orton Foundation was
established to provide care, rehabilitation and education for those
disabled by the Winter War. The focus has since shifted to the education
of students who need individual teaching and guidance. Keskuspuisto
Vocational College strengthened its specialized expertise in 2009 when
the Arla Institute merged with the college.
Educational activities began in the disabled war veterans' maintenance building that was built in Ruskeasuo, Helsinki, in December 1942. The classrooms, known as workshops, offered training in woodwork, metal work, upholstery, painting, tailoring and shoemaking. Women worked in the dressmaking and millinery shop or in the school kitchen. Some of the original subjects are still included in our selection.
As of 1944, the selection of studies was increased due to the extensive demand. Now students had a chance to take, for example, a mechanical drawing or radio maintenance course or to study to become an optician.
In 1947, the Orton Foundation's vocational school began to offer three-year vocational education for over 16-year-olds. The student association was very active from the early days of the vocational school. In addition to the meetings, the student association organized parties, sports events and concerts.
The educational institution's first official curriculums for each field of study were prepared in the 1950s. Multidisciplinary student welfare services have been provided ever since the institution was established.
In 1953, the educational services provided for disabled war veterans ended and vocational special education began. During the 1960s and 1970s, the selection of studies and the number of students increased. In December 1964, a guest of honor, the first lady Sylvi Kekkonen visited the school to learn about the female students' studies.
In 1982, the school was renamed Keskuspuisto Vocational College to better match the current student base. In 1987, the adult education unit was established.
In 2009, the state gave up its vocational special education institutions and the previously state-owned Arla Institute in Leppävaara, Espoo, became part of Keskuspuisto Vocational College.
In 2012, Keskuspuisto Vocational College celebrated its 70th anniversary. The same year also marked the 120th anniversary of vocational education for the visually impaired.