MCC embarked on the Master Plan Update with several contextual issues that formed a foundation for the physical development of the plan.
Unprecedented Enrollment Growth
The Master Plan Update comes at a unique time in history. On the heels of one of the greatest economic downturns our country has ever experienced, community colleges across the United States are experiencing unprecedented growth. With a 2009 fall enrollment of over 17,000 and a 1-year growth of nearly 13% , MCC, like other institutions that welcomed students during the economic downturn, is experiencing a period of the largest enrollment growth in the institution's history. The goal of this master planning process was to build a framework for growth at all campuses and centers.
At a time when sustainability trends have found their way into mainstream culture, MCC is poised to be on the front end of developing a holistic and integrated approach to institutional environmental sustainability. In response to the admirable sustainability path already forged by MCC leadership, this Master Plan Update uses solid planning recommendations with quantionable and defensible sustainability targets in the following categories:
- Stuff (Materials, Waste, and Recycling)
View the Sustainability section of the Facilities Master Plan
Need for Immediate Planning Solutions and a Long-Term Vision
There is a shortfall of space at many of MCC's campuses and centers. Enrollment projections for the 10-year plan horizon indicate additional space needs at each campus and center based on a 2% average participation rate as the population in the service area of Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, and Washington Counties continues to increase. The most widely used state guidelines to measure physical capacities at higher education institutions suggest that a desirable range for classroom utilization is 30 room hours per week with 60% of the student stations occupied on average. MCC is operating at an average of 34 room hours per week with 67% of the student stations occupied. In the college's current state, there is very little opportunity to explore new programs without taking on substantial on-site real estate costs. Additionally, only 1.57% of the four-county service area population attends MCC, compared to a 2.42% market penetration that other Nebraska community colleges have in their service areas. Much of this difference may be due to the lack of available space to serve a larger student population.
Several foundational planning recommendations of the Master Plan Update were based on data gathered through the GIS mapping output, revolving around the creation of centers of specialization within the MCC system.