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ERIC Number: EJ798503
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1067-1803
Build It and They Will Come: Innovative Facilities Help Colleges Meet Academic Goals
Joch, Alan
Community College Journal, v78 n6 p16-18, 20-22 Jun-Jul 2008
Lone Star College had a unique opportunity in 2000 when it began planning its new CyFair campus in suburban Houston. The school wasn't retrofitting existing buildings or contending with entrenched attitudes about what type of physical environment best supported learning. So when it designed its sprawling 550,000-square-foot campus, paid for with $90 million from a bond referendum and $20 million from state and local sources, Lone Star's clean-slate approach resulted in the creation of an academic oasis complete with modern classrooms, a man-made lake, marshlands, and fields of native grasses. Now, five years after the campus accepted its first students, Lone Star-CyFair says its modular classrooms, outdoor areas for studying and socializing, and even its trendy Starbucks coffee bar are helping to solve an age-old challenge of commuter colleges--students don't just drop in to attend classes, they linger, interact with peers, and learn through collaboration. This article describes how community colleges are discovering the connection between an innovative approach to facilities design and academic success. A study by the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers that probed the impact of facilities on student recruitment and retention found that the quality of campus facilities ranked sixth among the characteristics considered most important by students. Similarly, when asked what factors were "extremely important" or "very important" in the decision process, the top five responses all related to physical resources, including a facility in the chosen major, classrooms, the quality of the library, and technological capabilities.
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland; Oklahoma; Texas