Middlesex Community College Unveils Collaborative Learning Space

ribbon cuttingApril 30, 2019 (Middletown, Conn.) — Middlesex Community College held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the recently renovated Learning Commons, a fully integrated physical learning space for delivering library services, distance learning, and academic success services. The space is located on the main level of Chapman Hall on the Middletown campus.

“A commons is a space where people gather together. Now, the Learning Commons is a place of collaboration and innovation with the vision to continue adapting to the future of technology that unifies students, faculty, and staff,” explained Campus CEO and Dean of Academic Affairs Steven Minkler, EdD.

Also participating in the event was Alice Pritchard, PhD, chief of staff of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, who added, “The Learning Commons represents the system’s vision… and provides a place where students can learn from one another and that represents the values you want to instill in our students.”

About 10 years ago, Lan Liu, MxCC’s former director of library services for 26 years, had the foresight to transition the library into a learning hub of the college. Liu returned to the Middletown campus to see the results and cut the ribbon at the ceremony.

learning commons spaceThe renovations include a place called Pegasus Green, a learning area with six rooms funded by the Connecticut Board of Regents 21st Century Classroom Project. This initiative is designed to create transformative learning environments by combining cloud services and classroom and personal devices to encourage collaborations, explore emerging technologies, and inspire academic excellence. Equipped with modern technologies, the rooms are used by groups or individuals in developing and rehearsing presentations, video recording and production, virtual orientations, training and tutoring, web conferencing, and overall green initiatives.

The new space features collaborative work stations, group and individual study areas, as well as soft seating equipped with charging stations. Furnishings came from industry leaders such as KI, National, Steelcase, and Logiflex furniture companies. “Seeing my design concepts used by the students of Middlesex is very fulfilling,” said Evan Golden of Insalco Corporation.

“To transform this area we decided to eliminate the dusty old almanacs, encyclopedias, and books, and embrace technology at MxCC with collaboration and innovation being the theme. We decided to renovate space and reduce the stacks of books and make a place for students to be creative,” said MxCC Dean of Administration Kimberly Hogan, who oversaw the in-house funding and design implementation of the renovations.

To learn more about the Learning Commons at MxCC, please visit https://mxcc.edu/learning-commons/

students in learning commonsSince 1966, Middlesex Community College has provided high-quality, affordable, and accessible education to a diverse population, enhancing the strengths of individuals through degree, certificate, and lifelong learning programs that lead to university transfer, employment, and an enriched awareness of our shared responsibilities as global citizens. A part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, MxCC offers more than 70 degree or certificate programs at the 35-acre campus in Middletown, MxCC@Platt in Meriden, and online.