Our college’s layout is compact when compared to a university, however, incoming students find it difficult to navigate the school. Whether it be searching for their class in the College Complex, or looking for the Student Service Center, more often than not students wander into the Library or Art Gallery, and have to ask for directions, even though there is a map right at the front of the school.
If the college had better signs or clearer maps, students would have an easier time getting around campus, whether it be putting a landmark to look out for on the map, or having street signs pointing in the direction of certain buildings. Adding those would not only be helpful, but it would give the school a bit of a fun feeling, since we sometimes have cars and golf carts driving down the wide roads of the college campus.
Recently a young woman from Heritage High School came up to me and asked me to help her find the Admissions Office because she had no idea where it was. While I gladly pointed her in the right direction, the school needs to have a better navigation system so that she wouldn’t have had to ask a complete stranger for help.
High school graduates are walking onto campus not knowing where anything on campus is, from the Student Service Center to the student store. Even if we are unable to get street signs like I envision, just having temporary arrows pointing students in the right direction will help immensely.
At the beginning of each semester there are LMC employees wearing badges who assist incoming students, giving them directions and answering questions. While this is very helpful for the first week of classes, these assistants are not around for the entire semester. After the rush of the first week, students are on their own. There are also students who require visual directions rather than verbal.
Speaking of the maps, the angle the maps are set at make them disorienting and difficult to understand, even though they are simple. Having the map at a better angle would reduce unnecessary confusion that students have to go through when trying to find the P.E. area or even the Little Theater.
Maps are just the beginning of getting students on their way to where they need to be, but if they are juggling where they need to be with their tasks, directions may be forgotten. Something that could help could be a hanging sign indicating the direction of where they are heading. The College Complex does have signs like this on the lower levels, but the indicators are quite vague and often have students wandering in circles because the classroom is in another hallway or hidden from view.
LMC provides its students with a decent form of navigation, but it can be improved if the school looked at a broader range of possible issues that students have. What is currently available is not terrible, but it is not great either, it is stuck in the middle. The school is constantly improving and evolving, and it would make sense that our maps and signs follow suit.