MTSU embarked on another phase of its emphasis on student success with the Monday, March 10, opening of the $16 million Student Services and Admissions Center and MT One Stop.
After a number of years where an idea and planning turned into a finished construction project, nearly 100 MTSU employees from five offices and three buildings entered their new quarters and workspace.
What this means for current and prospective students and visitors is student-centeredness and a convenience of key offices being centrally located under one roof.
Located on Blue Raider Drive, the 58,000-square-foot facility with brick exterior opened for students and visitors. Added features include a large bridge extending to the Student Union and a small bridge connecting the east side of the new building to an adjacent parking deck for the MTSU Boulevard Garage.
Last fall, university President Sidney A. McPhee and academic leaders unveiled a Quest for Student Success initiative. The opening of the new building will be a key component in the process.
Laurie Witherow, associate vice provost for admissions and enrollment services, said administrators and staff are excited about the opening of the building, which features the first floor being for prospective students and families and the second floor — a one-stop shop called MT One Stop — that will help meet a full array of students’ enrollment management needs.
“The lobby area on the first floor is grand,” Witherow said. “It’s where they will begin their exploration of campus.”
A video wall “will highlight all of the exciting sights folks will see when they tour campus,” Witherow said. “Our new tour room will give us a great place to prepare groups for what they are about to see of the campus. Look up from the lobby and you see what we’re all about: ‘True Blue!’”
The Student Services and Admissions Center and MT One Stop are immediately adjacent to the visitor’s parking lot, a first for MTSU.
“Though it seems like a small thing, it will be a great improvement in the experience for our guests,” Witherow said.
Witherow said the design of the building and concept behind the MT One Stop has been totally about student centeredness “in order to make the administrative process of being enrolled at MTSU easier, more convenient and barrier-free.”
Current MTSU students should go directly to the MT One Stop front desk to get their questions answered, said Crickett Pimentel, MT One Stop director.
“It will be a new experience for students to come to one place instead of going to several different offices,” Pimentel said.
Witherow said student concerns regarding financial aid, scholarships, records and scheduling, bills, transcripts, holds and much more will be handled at the MT One Stop.
“Students will be served efficiently and holistically without having to visit multiple offices,” she said. “The redesign of service delivery creates efficiencies not only for the students, but also for the individual offices as they can devote their full attention to the behind-the-scenes processes while the direct service to students is handled at the MT One Stop.”
Each student will have an enrollment counselor assigned upon admission to the university, Witherow added, “and if their concern is too complicated or requires a more confidential environment than our front desk affords, they can meet privately in their enrollment counselor’s office about any concern.”
Beginning Monday, March 17, when MTSU students return from spring break, the MT One Stop will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Witherow said the university anticipates the need to extend hours further at the beginning of each term and include some Saturday hours.
Tuck-Hinton Architects designed the facility, which was built by Messer Construction.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)