Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The new Mandia Family Learning Commons — a special space for success

Built for success

Where do our students go to identify and find academic support on their pathway to success? It is the place where they can find experts in coping with learning — and life — obstacles to graduation, in a new, inviting space with familiar, welcoming faces.

The Mandia Family Learning Commons is the newest and coolest space for MVCC students on the Utica Campus. Located in the Information Technology Building, the Commons is a multi-functional, collaborative learning space for students to be with each other, with faculty, and with staff to help them advance on their path to success.

As it was in the former Learning Center, the heart of the Commons is the staff who inhabit the new fresh and inspiring space. With full-time professional tutoring in the Math Lab and Writing Lab, the Commons is a tremendous resource for students. Additional tutoring is available in most any discipline or program we offer, and students now have the added benefit of customized space to work with their tutors at computers, if necessary. Open computers are available for students who need to work individually or collaboratively with others.

And the Commons has much more — because of the people who are there to help. 

Four full-time faculty members have relocated their offices within the new space. Representing the disciplines of Reading, Math, English, and Physics, the faculty housed in the Commons are "all in" for student success. They are joined by three Completion Coaches from our Pathway to Graduation Project to help students with issues both in and out of the classroom. For the more complex issues, students can go to a Case Manager from the C3 (College-Community-Connection) Program who can leverage a robust network of community resources related to food, health, housing, transportation, child care, and other barriers that arise to threaten the success of students.

And that's not all! Students and faculty also will benefit from the talents of a librarian and instructional design professional who can provide tremendous resources and guidance to all. While students will draw on the "in-house" librarian talents, faculty can utilize the instructional design resources as they use the "iTeach" lab to explore new technologies and teaching methodologies, and hone their craft for the benefit of students.

While we wait for the last few pieces of furniture to arrive, the positive energy and excitement surrounding the Mandia Family Learning Commons will continue right through and beyond our ribbon-cutting, which is scheduled for Thursday, November 17, at 1:30 p.m.

If you have any questions or comments about this post, please contact me directly at presblog@mvcc.edu.