McDowell Center unveils completed renovations
BY CAMYLE CRYDERMAN
After five years of planning, restorations and continuous labor, Schoolcraft College is proud to unveil the newly renovated McDowell Center. Staff and students have been understanding of the construction, but the improvements are now completed and benefit all.
Schoolcraft staff, students and community members are invited to attend an open house of the new center on Oct. 28 from 4 to 6 p.m. Complimentary food and refreshments will be provided as attendees are lead around through a guided tour.
“The McDowell Center is now more user friendly,” said Cheryl Hagen, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer. “It [now] logically makes more sense.”
Departments have been moved to new locations within the center and are all labeled on the new signage and maps. Names of departments have also been changed to be more straightforward to clear any confusion. The updated names are represented with new signs at the head of each department.
There is now also a color-coded process throughout the center that will make finding the new locations easier. College staff can simply direct students to a certain colored part of the building, and the student should know exactly where to go. A newly implemented help desk will also be present in the back of the main floor near the counseling wing to answer any further questions.
Counseling and Advising
The main changes to the McDowell Center however, took place in the counseling and advising departments. Not only have they been relocated to separate rooms in the center, they have also been redesigned. In order to streamline the process and help students meet with a staff member sooner, the two departments have been specialized and divided.
The advising component is now solely for school related topics. If students need help with an issue regarding registration or changing courses, they will be seen in advising.
If a student needs help for personal or mental health issues, they are invited to seek help in counseling.
“I feel like people will have more of an idea where to go for certain problems,” said Schoolcraft Student Jana Boster on the department separation, “I know I used to think that counseling and advising were the same thing. This will be more effective at helping.”
These changes will not only help students receive more specialized aid, it will dramatically decrease wait times. Students will no longer have to sit and wait in the room either, as a new format for notification is soon to be implemented where students will receive a text message when it is almost their time to be seen.
Another important addition to the McDowell Center is the new Hinkle Resource Center. Located in room 119 of the main floor, this area is focused on aiding everyone with major aspects of life.
“The Hinkle Center is a center for empowerment,” said Hagen. “It is sort of the reincarnation of the old Women’s Resource Center, but it’s for everyone.”
The Hinkle Center and the Counseling Department work hand in hand, but they have distinctions. The Hinkle Center offers information and guidance on certain aspects including career counseling, abuse, divorce, being a single parent and legal help that require something different than typical counseling.
There are seminars and workshops held at the center covering these topics, and people are always welcome to go to The
Hinkle Center in times of need.
“It is a community outreach,” stated Dr. Michael Oliver, Associate Dean of Counseling and Career Services. “It will serve both the Schoolcraft population as well as the surrounding community. Anyone who needs help in a range of personal issues can utilize the resources of the Hinkle Center.”
With the implementation of these new renovations, Schoolcraft staff members are excited to see how the students’ experiences improve. Once the new improvements are evaluated, the layout will be finalized. In the future, the school has hopes of moving on to renovations to the McDowell Center lounge.
Thanks to student input and the care and understanding of the staff, the McDowell Center has improved tenfold. Enjoy the luxury of the new center, and show support and become acquainted with the changes during the open house on Oct. 28 from 4 to 6 p.m.