Student Affairs Office Becomes a High-Tech Model Space

Student Affairs Office Becomes a High-Tech Model Space

“It will be a showcase student space … warm and welcoming but infused with technology,” says SESP associate dean Coleen Coleman. She’s describing the renovated Students Affairs Office, which will be a model for other schools across the country.

Scheduled for completion in late September, the new space will feature cutting-edge technology with visual impact. A three-monitor media wall that is gesture-driven will offer interactive features that connect students with campus, careers and communities of practice. An interactive map will highlight locations of alumni and allow two-way communication. Students will be able to interact around video displays at collaboration stations and iPad stations.

“I’m excited about the impact the new space and technology will have on students,” says SESP assistant dean Susan Olson. “It will be the nicest academic advising office in the country.”

The new layout expands the Student Affairs Office by creating a large central area.  Likewise, frosted glass walls will bring in light and open up the space. The plans incorporate space for meeting with advisers and space for students meeting with each other. The new office also integrates graduate programs with the undergraduate program, bringing their headquarters into the same space on the first floor of Annenberg Hall.

Olson envisions the opportunity for improved programming with the new technology. For example, alumni will be able to meet virtually with students to talk about their careers. Alumni who are interested in participating via Skype are encouraged to e-mail sespalums@northwestern.edu.

Plans for the student space were developed with student input during focus groups. As the new academic year begins, the School will be seeking student feedback related to plans for programming.

SESP is known for its focus on students, and the new space reinforces the School’s dedication to students. “We’re modeling excellent student services and support, and we want to do it in a model space,” says Coleman.

Keep posted on progress of the Student Affairs Office renovation by checking this web page frequently.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 9/13/12