Creating a place where students, faculty, and staff feel like they belong is more than providing study spaces, cafés, or administrative offices. It’s about connecting to a greater purpose and supporting individual needs. It’s about balancing hybrid environments, prioritizing flexibility, supporting inclusion and belonging, and focusing on overall health and well-being.
We’ve identified some key ingredients in the recipe of belonging for designers and end users focusing on design for education.
Whether attending class in-person or virtually, students and faculty need to feel comfortable in their environments to be successful.
Balancing Hybrid Environments
73% of students said they missed the “friends and social life” part of the physical campus experience.
SOURCE: INSIDE HIGHER ED: COVID-ERA COLLEGE: ARE STUDENTS SATISFIED
To accommodate a variety of learners and learning types, education spaces must be able to change and adapt – including options for mobility and storage.
Offering sensory-rich spaces improves cognitive development in early learners, but in order to prioritize flexibility as an ingredient of “belonging”, sensory choices are needed so students can customize their learning experience.
SOURCE: MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION, COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT AND SENSORY PLAY
When students have a sense of belonging, they are more engaged with their studies and their community, which ultimately allows them to excel in academics.
Focusing on Inclusion and Belonging
There’s a correlation between a sense of belonging and higher motivation and enjoyment of their studies, therefore fostering a sense of belonging can contribute to better student retention.
SOURCE: MEGAN LOUISE PEDLER, ROYCE WILLS & JOHANNA ELIZABETH NIEUWOUDT A SENSEOF BELONGING AT UNIVERSITY: STUDENT RETENTION, MOTIVATION AND ENJOYMENT, JOURNAlOF FURTHER AND HIGHER EDUCATION
Mitigate burnout and retain students and faculty by providing on-site spaces where they can go to ground themselves, take a few deep breaths, or restore calm after a stressful encounter.
Designing around well-being as a core ingredient of “creating places to belong” can make students feel valued, appreciated, and welcomed.
Kimball International offers a comprehensive portfolio of furniture solutions, specifically designed to create effective and beautiful education spaces. Today’s facilities are tasked with providing dynamic spaces that not only foster learning, but nurture school spirit. Together, let’s explore your objectives and develop flexible solutions that support unique learning styles and inspiring education environments.