The Learning Resource Center at CCA’s CentreTech campus is branching out to Lowry, further strengthening one of the top Denver area community colleges.
The project, seeded with Perkins Project grant funding, is limited to career and technical education (CTE) programs at Community College of Aurora, which neatly matches the curriculum taught at Lowry.
The long-range plan is to have the library services at Lowry focused on all students. But, for now, the nearly $76,000 award for the endeavor will be used for such departments as Paralegal, Criminal Justice, Art and New Media, Business, Emergency Medical training and more for the next year.
A full-time librarian, Dina Hornreich, has been hired for the length of Perkins funding to provide instruction to the CTE programs throughout Lowry on different days, and is available both via rotating scheduling and via appointment through the library website.
There will be no centralized library at Lowry but assistance with research and citations, individual appointments and classroom sessions will help fill the information vacuum that previously existed on campus outside of science and law libraries that already physically had presences.
“Over 50 percent of the students at CCA attend classes at Lowry, so we need to have the same services there,” said Megan Kinney, the college’s Director of Library Services.
Four kiosks allowing students to access databases, 24-hour live chat and locate physical books also will be in place beginning in late January. They will be installed at the Center for Simulation, Colorado Film School, West Quad and North Quad and provide guidance in research, writing and tutoring.
“So much of what we do is electronic and online in terms of the resources themselves. … This is kind of a physical manifestation of the LRC at Lowry,” Kinney said.
A web page and a short video will be created to promote the revamped services. New student and faculty orientations will be targeted, too, in spreading the word. The Lowry front desk also is expected to have information in hand.
The long-range plan is then to renew Perkins grant funding for another year while hopefully building a case for a full-time librarian in a future budget cycle by compiling quantitative and qualitative data about how the services affected student retention and grades.
“My expectation is that we’ll increase student retention and completion by having the support resources that they need on that campus to help them with their research projects,” Kinney said.