A rendering of the future student services center at Truman. / By STV, Inc.
When I talk to City Colleges students about things that are bugging them, one of the comments I hear most often is that they wish there was more of a campus community. Students take classes at different times of day, and many work or have families to support.
Why not build a student center? Truman College is building one of sorts -- it should be open in about a year. The building, mainly for administrative offices, will also give student groups more office space and free up lots of room in Truman's main building for more classrooms.
The concept is new for community colleges, but starting to spread. Inside Higher Ed reports that other community colleges are also talking about adding student centers to make their campuses more appealing. Tidewater Community College in Virginia is adding student centers to its four campuses:
“As I’ve made the rounds and met with students to ask them what they like and don’t like about Tidewater, there was one recurring theme,” said Deborah M. DiCroce, who is in her 12th year as president of the college. “They didn’t have a place of their own. They were looking for a place to engage in various activities when they were not in class.”
So what makes for a good community college student center?
Though Tidewater’s student centers will look and feel like those buildings found on traditionally residential four-year college campuses -- with offices for student groups, places to grab a bite to eat, and a bank -- they will contain a few features that may help differentiate them. ... childcare services for the many students with young children will be located in each center.