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CYPRESS — Lone Star College-CyFair has been awarded an active learning classroom through the Active Learning Center program, a grant initiative in its fifth year offered by Steelcase® Education.

The grant program supports both educators and students by creating an environment that encourages engagement, collaboration and creativity.

Traditional classrooms tend to be filled with immovable desks and chairs aligned neatly in rows that lend themselves to rote memorization, not the variety of teaching strategies most educators use today. LSC-CyFair faculty believe the installation of the active learning classroom valued at $67,000 will positively impact teaching and support pedagogies for students eager to return to classes.

In the projection implementation stage and with plans to be ready by fall, this Steelcase Education learning environment will be installed in the Health Science Center II, room 142.

This classroom is designated for co-requisite model courses, specifically mathematics students enrolled in an entry-level college course that requires co-enrollment in a developmental education course to support their successful course completion. While this model allows the extra time students may need, the challenge is keeping students focused and engaged for double the time normally spent in one course, notes LSC-CyFair Dean of Science, Math and Engineering Dr. Claire Phillips

This room is currently set up as a traditional lecture-style classroom conducive to Q&A techniques, student presentations and student interaction only between adjacent students, Dr. Phillips said. The new Steelcase Education Flexible Classroom offers a wide range of shared group and individual spaces to support diverse learning needs. Movable modules allow for flexible configuration so students can find a space that works for them based on their task, preference and mood.

“LSC-CyFair was chosen because of a demonstrated commitment to active learning,” said Craig Wilson, Steelcase Education director of market development.  “Research shows that space impacts behavior, and these classrooms will help a new group of professors and students explore the learning possibilities an interactive space can bring.”

In addition to receiving a new classroom, LSC-CyFair will receive training from Steelcase on how to use their new spaces and will have the opportunity to share insights and best practices with all awarded schools. Over the two-year program, Steelcase Education and LSC-CyFair will partner together to conduct assessments and research on the impact of the newly-designed space.

“We are so excited to be one of a dozen recipients across the nation recognized by Steelcase Education for our efforts in promoting engaged learning for our students,” said LSC-CyFair Vice President of Instruction Dr. Deana Sheppard, “especially since close to 1,000 institutions applied for the grant.”

Dr. Phillips said, “With this grant focus, led by Professor Preeti Singh of our mathematics department, we hope to foster better student-to-student and teacher-to-student collaborations in the classroom, ultimately improving student completion of College Algebra, often perceived as a gatekeeper course for students.”

For information on the 12 schools, colleges and universities chosen for their distinguishing approaches to active learning and for their commitment to foster student success both in the classroom and beyond, visit the Steelcase Education website.

Registration for summer and fall classes at LSC-CyFair is currently underway. Go to LoneStar.edu/registration for information.

About LSC-CyFair
Helping more than 22,000 students reach their academic and career goals, Lone Star College-CyFair is the 5th comprehensive college in the Lone Star College System, located at 9191 Barker Cypress Road just three miles south of U.S. Highway 290. Tomorrow also starts today at the LSC-Fairbanks Center, located at 14955 Northwest Freeway, LSC-Cypress Center, located at 19710 Clay Road and LSC-Westway Park Technology Center, located at 5060 Westway Park Boulevard. For more information about LSC-CyFair and its programs, call 281.290.3200 or visit LoneStar.edu/cyfair.

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