With college campuses across the northwest implementing different campus designs in order to sustain and promote student diversity, Bellevue College is considering projects to help include students from different communities on campus.
One of the more prominent designs is the college dormitories that are set to be built and be in use by 2018. BC’s Vice President of Administrative Services Ray White calls it student housing rather than dormitories, because, “it conjures up rooms with the showers down the hall with two or three people in bunks.”
White explained that due to cultural reasons, in each four-person unit, each student will have their own bedroom. On top of that, each unit will be equipped with a kitchen. In terms of rent, the plan is to price the student housing competitively with other student housing in the area, such as University of Washington or Seattle University’s dormitories.
According to White, “that strategy doesn’t reach some really needy students,” and in order to accommodate students with financial need, BC plans on using the profits from student housing to create a “scholarship fund for housing for students who really need it.”
Dexter Johnson, executive director of campus operations at BC, explained that the student housing will be built on Kelsey Creek Road on the north side of campus. “The bus routes that run there will most likely be redirected to Coal Creek Road on the other side of campus,” Johnson noted.
Another focus on campus is to build more common spaces, according to White.
Some of the common spaces around campus include the library, the student lounge in L100, the tutoring center and the ends of the hallways on each floor of the R building. Each one is different and is designed to be a comfortable environment for all students to study in. “Students have different ideas about what can be a comfortable space and how they want to engage,” said White.
He believes these common spaces will be powerful learning spaces, explaining that being in class only teaches part of what any given student needs to understand the material.
BC also plans to put more focus on is inclusiveness in the admissions and advising offices in the B building on campus, as it is generally the first place a student will go on campus. White plans to renovate the current system for financial aid and admissions for it to become “a more welcoming, easier method or layout for students that won’t make them feel intimidated by the process.”
Currently, the plan is to do some preliminary modeling in that area of the B building, but eventually putting up a whole new building for the student services. This change “would be a big step forward,” remarked White.