Traditional university classrooms with rows of desks and a podium are quickly becoming outdated. Generation Z is demanding innovation and the first place they want it is in the classroom. These incoming students understand that some of the most valuable learning takes place outside the classroom, so why can’t we redesign it and change this perspective?
As colleges and universities adapt online learning as a larger component of their on-campus curriculum, versus a traditionally secondary component to higher education, it’s beginning to impact campus design and structure. In the past, to be competitive as an institution in higher ed, you had to be constantly expanding your physical campus, your on-campus staff and courses offered, and extracurricular student experiences.
In 2016, enrollment in higher education was down 1.4% from the previous fall, marking the fifth straight year of decline. While some universities have had to cut back on spending, others have beefed up amenities. Students are offered more luxurious, resort-style accommodations in an attempt to increase attendance and tuition rolls.
UConn has been expanding and growing, and the needs of students changing. In recent years, the growth of the student body and general demand for more amenities at the university resulted in the development of Storrs Center, a new downtown destination.