Tulsa Community College (TCC) formally celebrated the opening of the new Hardesty Student Success Center on its West Campus in October. But students are already benefiting from the center.
Funded with a $1 million gift from the Hardesty Family Foundation, the new facility revolutionizes the student experience and removes barriers.
Students now have a clearly identified starting point and check-in area instead of rows of counters and offices for multiple departments, each with its own line.
“It is critical TCC provide services to our students in a way that isn’t confusing or intimidating. Every effort to remove a barrier, either physical or financial, increases student success and the number of graduates,” TCC President & CEO Leigh Goodson said.
Opened in fall 2020 – in the middle of the pandemic – the college made the strategic decision to delay the formal dedication until now, due to public health considerations.
On a recent visit to the Hardesty Student Success Center, Goodson provided a guided tour to Michelle Hardesty, executive director of the Hardesty Family Foundation, and showed how the facility transforms the student experience. It creates a centralized location where students can get their needs met – whether it’s determining a major, securing scholarships and financial aid to establishing a class schedule that works for the student’s busy life.
“We are leveraging what we have in place to improve our community and to ensure we are able to meet the demands of industries and employers with a properly educated workforce,” said Hardesty. “This brick-and-mortar project is an essential element to the student support services TCC provides and ensures everyone, especially first-generation college students, can navigate college successfully.”
The Hardesty Student Success Center is part of the TCC Foundation’s $20 million Clearing the Pathway: The Campaign for Completion. Plans are to create two more Student Success Centers at the Metro and Northeast campuses. The college opened the first Student Success Center at the Southeast Campus in August 2019 with the help of the Vision Tulsa package approved by voters.
“These Student Success Centers represent community investment in our students in ways that will have a transformative effect,” said Goodson. “This is about getting our students into the workforce or transferring to a four-year university at a higher rate, and it is work we can’t do alone. It takes leaders such as the Hardesty family and their generous support to reimagine higher education.”
This article was originally posted here.