top of page

Olsson’s designs engineer student success at Tulsa Community College


How does engineering prepare Oklahoma’s students for tomorrow’s success? 


In some instances, it’s a matter of spaces.

Creating spaces that matter by eliminating the need for rows of counters and the hassle of long lines was the goal of the engineering and design work recently completed by Olsson at three Tulsa Community College student success centers.

TCC West, Metro and Northeast campus student success centers are providing a crucial example of the importance design and engineering plays in today’s higher education environment, said Dustin Vogt, leader of the Olsson team responsible for project mechanical, electrical and plumbing designs. 


“These were underutilized spaces that needed modernizing,” he said. “Functionality and aesthetics played roles in how we designed and engineered the spaces.”


What is a TCC student success center?


The student success centers at all TCC campuses are designed to be welcoming areas that provide students with a place to receive academic advising, career services, testing, orientation, accessibility resources and other college-related support. 


How did Olsson design and engineer student success centers at TCC?


Providing student support resources as quickly as TCC students need them relied on many design and engineering factors, Vogt said. 


“The most obvious thing to take into consideration was the accommodation of smart devices,” he said. “That’s the biggest change we’ve seen in the past several years. We had to account not only for the fact that pretty much every student is going to be using one, but where they’d be located.


“We’re long past the days when people would be okay with sitting on a floor next to a port located on a wall.”


In addition to designing spaces friendly to smart devices, Olsson took into account the need for projection screens, efficient climate control, power and low-voltage cabling. 


“There have been significant advances in technology and systems,” Vogt said. “The cost to operate and maintain spaces like these is now far less than it would’ve been in the past. That comes down to design and engineering. And when you think about reduced costs, you want to consider the positive impact of that on things like students’ tuition.”


How are TCC students and staff responding to the student success centers?


The design and engineering work that Olsson performed for student success centers on three of the four TCC campuses has been lauded since the dedication of the West campus space in late 2021.


“Every effort to remove a barrier, either physical or financial, increases student success and the number of graduates,” Dr. Leigh Goodson, TCC president and CEO, said at the time


According to Vogt, feedback related to Olsson’s design and engineering work on the student success centers at TCC has continued to be positive. 


“Given the scope of this project – all of the remodeling and design needed to support student growth – it’s very rewarding,” he said. 


What other education-related projects is Olsson involved with?


Vogt said Olsson has plans to perform design and engineering work on projects at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, and for the public schools systems in Catoosa and Muskogee. 


“Needs are constantly changing along with technology in the area of education, like all areas,” he said. “We’re ready to design and engineer spaces to meet all those challenges.”


2023 National Engineers Week to be observed Feb. 19 through 25


National Engineers Week will be observed Feb. 19 through 25 this year. The week is always held the week of George Washington’s birthday. President Washington is considered an early notable U.S. engineer for his surveying work. National Engineers Week was begun by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951.

bottom of page