Higher education officials consider dorms at community colleges

Higher education officials consider dorms at community colleges (Image 1)

Compared to other states, relatively few Tennesseans go to community colleges, according to Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan.

He wonders if on-campus housing would change that.

The idea was presented to the board by the president of Dyersburg State Community College, where students drive, on average, 35 miles to campus.

In Smyrna, students see the advantages as well.

“I would definitely [live here] if they had a dorm” said Preston Smartt, a sophomore at Motlow Community College in Smyrna.

“Most likely, even though I live right down the street,” added Quinton Jones, a freshman at Motlow.

Both Smartt and Jones say dorms would enhance the community and add to the collegiate experience.

Students also cite cost and convenience as advantages.

“I think that it would definitely help with the attendance rate,” said Angel Boone, who is studying nursing at Motlow.  “People are coming in late because they're driving from Murfreesboro where they live. Luckily, I live close for the next two weeks but then I'll have an hour commute here.”

Currently, none of Tennessee's 13 community colleges offer on-campus housing.

The board of regents emphasizes that on-campus housing is not currently in the plans or on the agenda.

It's simply an idea, but one that has students buzzing.

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