Many incoming students unaware of ILC
Theater freshman Alexis Blue and criminal justice freshman Jared Schmidt take a minute to explore the eagerly awaited Integrated Learning Center, an underground facility directed mostly toward freshmen but available to all UA students.
Wednesday August 22, 2001 |
Despite elaborate plans, many incoming students have not heard of new facility
As the final stages of completion are taking place at the Integrated Learning Center, one major detail seems to have been overlooked - some few freshmen don't actually know what it is.
The ILC, a $21 million facility dedicated to the freshman class of 2001, houses four lecture halls, 10 classrooms, advising and office space and a computer commons, all geared toward helping new students' transition into academic life at the University of Arizona.
"I think of it as a magic kingdom," Lynne Tronsdal, Associate Dean of the University College, said. "It's the Freshman Year Center, the classrooms, the technology, the information commons. Hopefully, the kids will use it as a place to sit and commune, talk, react (and) bond."
UA officials say the ILC is almost ready for the freshman class. But without much awareness of the facility on behalf of the freshmen, the hallways may remain empty.
"I've never heard of it," said John McWilliams, an undeclared freshman.
Many freshmen like McWilliams could remain clueless about the facility that is supposed to increase UA retention rates, which are at a low 77 percent, according to U.S. News and World Reports.
Anne Deluca, associate director of admissions, said freshmen might not know of the ILC because they were unable to tour it during orientation.
"We mention (the ILC) at all of the welcomes at new student orientation," Deluca said. She added that the students are given a brochure about the ILC but a tour is not included in the orientation package.
McWilliams said he received a red binder at his orientation and was told where to go but was never informed about the ILC.
Deluca added that with the large amount of information given to freshmen during orientation, a brochure about the ILC might have been overlooked.
"Having something new may not mean anything to them," Tronsdal said. "The parents seem to be receptive to it."
Ryan Burton-Romero, an interdisciplinary studies senior and member of Arizona Ambassadors - a student organization responsible for guiding tours on campus - said he and other ambassadors are required to relay information about the ILC on all their tours.
"We were trained to talk about all the facts and figures. We told our tours last year the statistics of the ILC," he said. "Personally, I would stop by (the ILC) for at least 10 minutes and talk about it so (students) would know all the facts and figures - we'd tell them all the truth we could."
Even though freshmen may remain unaware of the ILC, officials still seem excited about its possibilities.
"It can make a difference in the quality of the experience here," Tronsdal said. "That difference could help students academically."
The ILC is located in the center of the UA Mall between the Modern Languages building and the Main Library.