Mar 092009
 
Authors: Scott Callahan

In an effort to enhance student advising and integrate undergraduate and graduate students with professors, two campus services will become roommates, each moving to the former Music Building on the Oval during spring break.

Because of the move, the Center for Advising and Student Achievement and The Institute for Learning and Teaching will accommodate more services in one place rather than being spread throughout campus, said CASA Director Gaye DiGregorio.

“It’s a much nicer facility; it can integrate services (better than) in the past,” DiGregorio said. “The Oval has a lot of historic background.”

Director of TILT and Vice Provost Mike Palmquist said that the new facility will focus more on learning and teaching in one collective place. The services and atmosphere will help transition students from high school through college and beyond.

“The (Great Hall is) big enough to play basketball in,” Palmquist said. “It will create an attractive space for students to come in.”

TILT, which brings together students and teachers, will be moving from their old offices in the basement of the Clark A Building. CASA, whose services range from undeclared advising to retention, will be moving from Aylesworth Hall.

The move was originally planned to be at the beginning of spring semester but was delayed until spring break because campus will be less busy during the week.

When students return from break, the building should be up and running, Palmquist said, but only the Great Hall, TILT and CASA will be available. The building will become fully functional with classrooms, tutors and advisors next fall.

The building was originally built as the University Library, but later transitioned into the Music Building. Since the Music Department’s departure to the University Center for the Arts last fall, the building is slated to use for student services.

Palmquist said the new facilities will implement new, advanced technologies, including a three-dimensional projection system.

“We will pioneer new learning techniques,” Palmquist said. “There will be a synergy between people working in different organizations.”

Despite hard economic times, the plan to move the organizations has been in the works four years. Palmquist said that this type of facility has been a goal for the university for over two decades.

“I think this shows the university’s mission to support learning and teaching,” Palmquist said.

Funding for the project comes via the university and one private donation.

The new facility and services will require a large number of student employees, DeGregorio said, and despite CASA’s more than 100 student employees, the two organizations will need to expand to maintain operation hours.

Staff writer Scott Callahan can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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