The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Connecting is easier with improvements

Illustration by Alex Bihm/The Collegian
Illustration by Alex Bihm/The Collegian

In the age of technology, it can be hard to keep pace with every new trend or device. One thing that shouldn’t be hard to keep pace with is connectivity.

To be fair, TCC has done its part to make sure any new or renovated buildings are being designed with connectivity in mind. Whether it’s new sticky spaces or classrooms, they are being equipped with multiple electrical outlets and movable furniture to allow for easy access to the outlets individually or in groups.

The problem is older buildings.

Take NE Campus, for example. The television area of the Student Center has only two outlets, one at each booth. The other walls, where there are seats, have no outlets.

This is the case in most of the buildings on NE Campus that haven’t been renovated. The campus library has taken some steps to help by installing a few more outlets along the outer walls upstairs and three large outlet strips with a few desks and chairs along the back wall downstairs.

Part of the issue for the district is federal regulations regarding cords in public places. They cannot be stretched across walkways or floors where someone could potentially trip over them. Outlets and furniture can be arranged to avoid this issue.

In some of the newer buildings, TCC is incorporating movable furniture and desks with outlets built into them.

On TR Campus, almost every classroom has tables or desks that are plugged into the wall and allow several students to plug in their devices during class.

In fact, TR may be the best equipped from a connectivity standpoint with plenty of outlets in the cafeteria area and throughout the halls and study spaces. But then, it should — it used to be Radio Shack’s headquarters.

For the other campuses, connectivity seems to be sporadic. Some classrooms have tables and desks with outlets built in and others do not.

If the option is available to have these desks with outlets, why go the other way and not have them?

More and more students are bringing some sort of device and using them for coursework, and most classes require students to be online to some degree.

Whether blogging for an English class, participating in history forums or accessing MyMathLab for college algebra, students need to have access to their devices, and those devices need power.

Part of student success is staying on campus and putting in extra time toward each class. If students have limited space to plug in, what is going to keep them from heading home where they may end up being distracted or not have anyone to ask if a question or problem arises?

Several four-year universities are putting charging stations around their campuses and making connectivity a top priority. TCC is now an Achieving the Dream leader college and services more than 50,000 students each semester.

While administrators have made strides in student success and development, this is one area that needs another look.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian