Real Convenience: Students Rave about MTC’s New, Ultra-Modern, High-Tech Building
Midlands Technical College freshman Kristle Rogers started classes this fall at MTC’s Beltline Campus, expecting a fair amount of walking to attend classes and to find the different resources that would help her succeed. When she discovered the new Beltline Learning Resource Center, dubbed the “new front door” to the Beltline Campus, she breathed a sigh of relief.
“When you're new to college, it can be very stressful and hard to balance your school work and personal life,” said Rogers. “The new Learning Resource Center has helped me a lot, especially as a college freshman.”
The Beltline Learning Resource Center (LRC) is an ultra-modern place for students to mingle, collaborate, and “stay-a-while,” versus returning home between classes. Ten study rooms of various sizes are located throughout the building, as well as classrooms, dedicated tutoring space, and a variety of other student-resource rooms spread throughout its three floors.
“Personally, this has helped me tremendously,” said Rogers. “I go to tutoring every now and then in the library, and I use the study rooms on a daily basis to get work completed, whether it's a five-page essay for English or a reading for freshman seminar. Without the center, it would be hard for me to focus and find time to get everything done.”
MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames is not surprised to hear the great amount of positive feedback from students. Dubbing the LRC the “new front door” to the Beltline Campus, Rhames said the college is proud to offer students a beautiful new facility that will improve their academic experience.
“We are so proud to offer this beautiful new facility to our students and the community,” said Rhames. “It is specifically designed to provide a space for our students that encourages collaboration as well as educational and personal success. Students can come here and have access under one roof to all the great resources MTC offers.”
Those are precisely the thoughts of Associate in Arts student Kendrick Lyles.
“It's great to have our library and computer labs all in the same building,” Lyles said. “The study rooms provide a nice place to focus that is far away from any distractions.”
Associate Librarian Huyen Diep, who works in the LRC, said she has seen first-hand how students are appreciating the new building, which has almost twice the square footage of the previous library.
“The students are enjoying the larger space and the study rooms,” Diep said. “There is more room for them to spread out to study and work. The Learning Resource Center really makes a great learning environment because of the integrated space. Students can get help from the Library and Academic Success Center in one central location on campus.”
The study rooms have been a big hit with students, who can stream displays from their laptops to the room's large television screens to work collaboratively on homework, presentations, and projects. All of the study rooms also have dry-erase walls for brainstorming.
“We actually encourage students to write on the walls here,” said MTC Library Director Florence Mays. “These study rooms give students ways to collaborate with other students on things like homework and projects.”
In addition to the latest technology resources, the new building gives students the life-skills resources to find and keep a job after graduation. With support from Bill and Lou Kennedy of Nephron Pharmaceuticals, the Learning Resource Center is also home to the William Jerry Wood Life Skills Center on the Beltline Campus.
“This building is more than just windows, brick, and mortar,” said MTC Commission Chair Garry Powers. “It is emblematic of what makes Midlands Technical College so important to this community. Part of that is the new Life Skills Center. MTC has made a commitment help people develop life skills along with career development.”
As part of its strategic plan, Midlands Technical College is working to integrate life skills such as effective communication, teamwork, punctuality, integrity, work ethic, self-direction, and interpersonal skills into 90 percent of its programs.
“That’s what makes Midlands Technical College very different from any other educational institution in this area,” said Powers.
From being the new “front door” to the MTC Beltline Campus, to the place students turn to for the skills they will need throughout their careers and lives, Rhames said benefits of the new Learning Resource Center will resonate throughout the community.
“When prospective students see the investment Midlands Technical College is willing to make to give them the best academic experience, I think they will enroll with us,” he said. “Our students go on to fill important needs in the workforce and grow our local economy. A modern building that helps students succeed pays off not only for them, but for the Midlands as a whole. That’s a mission we are proud of.”