Students rave about new learning commons

When Northwestern College students began using the new Jack & Mary DeWitt Learning Commons this fall, their appreciation was clear by reading their Twitter feeds. “Our new learning commons is pretty sweet,” read one post. “I just feel more productive walking through the doors,” said another. One of the hashtags used was “#GoodStuff.”

The students were describing a 58,000-square-foot building that includes the library, various centers for academic support, and many areas for collaborative study. Under one roof, students can meet a professor for coffee to get advice on career preparation, edit a group video presentation for a class project, find resources for a research paper, attend a study session or get writing help in the Peer Learning Center, and take a study break to chat with friends in the community room while watching a game of Ultimate Frisbee outside.

“The atmosphere is very calm and very modern,” says Emily Culver, a sophomore nursing major from Hinton, Iowa. “It makes me want to get down and study.”

Library Director Dr. Tim Schlak is pleased to see the extensive use students are getting out of the $14 million facility. “Countless hours were invested in designing a building that will serve students’ evolving digital and collaborative needs to generations to come,” he says. “We couldn’t be more excited.”

See more learning commons photos