Engaging Commuter Students week 9

Commuter students is a population that I am very familiar with. While my institution has many commuter students, there is not really a place for them to feel as if they are connected to campus. A few years ago, my supervisor started a freshman commuter collegium to provide these students with a lounge, refrigerator, and weekly workshops ranging from topics in academics to how to get involved socially. Unfortunately, this collegium was under-appreciated by senior administration and only lasted for 2-3 years before the space was used for something else. When I spoke with students that used this space, they had gained so many friendships and felt a sense of belonging that they did not find in our campus originally. Because this had been started so early in my career in the field of higher education, I became much more cynical about how to create institutional change when this space had been taken away from commuters.

With that said, my institution has created a fantastic north campus specifically geared towards adult students. The campus offers a Bachelor's of Professional Studies program and courses that are taught online or in the evenings. This creates an environment that is welcoming and comfortable to these students, but may be seen as separating the traditional and non-traditional populations.

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