Spring semester students will be first to use newly renovated HCC buildings
The Fletcher Faculty Development Center in the Behavioral Sciences & Humanities Building at Hagerstown Community College. (By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer / January 12, 2013)
What used to be the science building now is the Learning Support Center, a place where students who require assistance for classes can find help through tutors, a professional staff and computer programs, HCC officials said.
The former Classroom Building has been renamed the Behavioral Sciences & Humanities Building, and houses the Fletcher Faculty Development Center.
“I think when parents visit our campus and they look at the quality of our facilities today, just about every instructional environment has been renovated, enhanced, replaced in the last 10 years,” HCC President Guy Altieri said.
A dedication for the two buildings, which were renovated in the past year, is expected to be held in March, Stull said.
Last year, HCC dedicated its new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) building and the newly renovated and expanded Kepler Center, whose features include a theater, music practice rooms, classrooms and a black-box theater that also serves as a dance studio.
“We frequently get parents and their children comparing us to many four-year colleges and universities. And the quality of our facilities today matches what you find out there,” Altieri said.
“People like to come to state-of-the-art facilities,” Altieri said.
While HCC experienced a 13 percent increase in student enrollment last fall for online credit offerings, Altieri said campus improvements help attract new students.
Facilities still are needed for developing skills, he said.
“It comes back to the facilities that we have built,” Altieri said. A dance studio or high-quality chemistry lab can’t be online, he said.
“So if you look at the facilities we’ve built, those facilities have been very geared toward specialty spaces,” Altieri said.
Learning Support Center
Both the former Classroom Building and science building were approximately 40 years old and had mechanical systems that were failing, Altieri said.
The science building was transformed with $3.24 million in county and state funding into a Learning Support Center, Stull said.
“Our Learning Support Center is a concept that will permit ... every student to have access to help for every course we offer,” Altieri said. “So we’ll have tutors there, we’ll have programming material, we’ll have computer programs, that tie into every offering we have.
“And for many students, we know that their home environments are not ideal study environments. They have lots of things happening in their lives, and when they leave the campus, unfortunately, they stop studying.
“We see the Learning Support Center as an environment where they can spend hours on campus. It’ll be open on weekends, we’ll have the latest computers and software there for them. And we think all of this assistance will ... reduce attrition, reduce the dropout rate and increase the completion rate.”
Studies have shown the more assistance students are given, the greater chance they have of completing their programs, he said.