Campus: San José -- October 11, 2006

San Jose State Opens High Tech Academic Success Center

San José State University's new Academic Success Center will open Tuesday, October 24, on the ground floor of Robert D. Clark Hall. The 10,000-square-foot endeavor, which houses a core group of academic services, support services, and educational tools, will provide a convenient and highly motivational one-stop shop for inspiring and celebrating learning.

"The Academic Success Center will catapult the San Josť State community into a new era of experimentation in collaboration and learning," said President Don W. Kassing. "By fostering creative learning and group work, the center will advance our efforts to produce college graduates who understand the importance of utilizing technology to communicate and learn."

The center is a key component of the university's Vision 2010 strategic initiative to enhance student learning and academic quality. It is comprised of a 3,000-square-foot computer learning stage surrounded by three conference rooms; incubator classroom and conference rooms, and nine more tech-enriched classrooms. The center also features six offices for representatives of vital student services including the writing, career, peer mentor, academic advising and service learning centers as well as the university library.

World-renowned design firm IDEO conceptualized the center. Adobe Systems, Apple Computers, Hewlett-Packard and Plantronics contributed equipment worth a total of approximately $200,000. The university spent $1.6 million in campus funds building out the space. The center's technology will be updated regularly and is protected by a laser security system.

Specific components of the center include:

  • The computer learning stage, which promotes collaboration by combining mobile furniture with integrated technologies. The stage features four digital editing stations, three laptop collaboration booths with monitors, and ten pods, each with three personal computers and a scanner.
  • An incubator classroom with interactive whiteboards, a video conferencing system, tablet personal computers, Macintosh laptop computers, a document camera and huddle boards. Topics taught in this classroom this term include animation/illustration, business systems, and 20th century poetry.
  • An incubator conference room that allows students to practice making professional presentations as they would in a corporate board room.
  • Three more conference rooms, including two equipped with LCD projection televisions for student meetings, group work and displays.
  • Nine classrooms for the Metropolitan University Scholar's Experience (MUSE), seminars, workshops and activities for first-year students.

The center as a whole is flexible and experimental. Much of the furniture is on wheels. The stage and incubator classroom and conference room have raised floors and drop ceilings to ease equipment upgrades and moves. Low walls between work stations on the stage and glass walls around three conference rooms will allow student groups to observe each other in action.

"People learn best from active, collaborative learning, and we are providing the space for this," said Mary Jo Gorney-Moreno, associate vice president for academic technology. "Administrators and faculty members will also observe faculty and students at the center for research on preferences in formal and informal learning spaces. Our goal is to learn how to design the learning spaces of the future for SJSU."

Contact: Pat Lopes Harris, (408) 924-1748

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