By Ashton Rose
Shay Maxwell is a Hillcrest High School senior who lives on the south part of Springfield but goes to Middle College at Ozarks Technical Community College for her schooling. She has to get up approximately at 5:45 a.m. just to catch the 6 a.m. bus.
She gets to the south shuttle bus transfer station and gets on bus number “7” around 7:20 a.m.; then she takes bus number “4” to get to OTC. She arrives at 8:00 a.m. Her classes, however, start at 7:55 a.m. at the ITTC building.
The best case scenario means she is five minutes late to school every day. Maxwell wishes that OTC has affordable housing close by. That way she could just walk to school and not be late every day.
Since her last class ends at 3:40pm she comes home at 7pm every night.
Students who live near or close to their school’s campus are more successful than students who have to drive back and forth to school, says Alisa Garbisch, the assistant director of Student Success Initiatives at Missouri State University.
Garbisch works at MSU in a program called the Living-Learning Communities, where students who are new can get together and help each other with homework and knowing where their classes are.
“Students who live on campus have a higher GPA than students who don’t,” Garbisch says. She thinks students would be more successful if they live on campus rather than anywhere else in Springfield unless they just can’t afford to live on campus or have other difficulties.
Garbisch says she has even seen some students who went to class in their PJ’s before, because they were late too school or didn’t get up in enough time to change.
Just like MSU, there are two-year colleges that have housing for their students, like Crowder College in Neosho, Mo. and Cottey College in Nevada, Mo.
At Crowder College, for example, a dorm room and meal plan costs $2,500 a semester, which for about $500 a month gives a student a safe place to sleep, all their meals, and close proximity to their classes and teachers.
Maxwell thinks it would be wonderful if OTC had off-site housing for their students who may not live close enough to walk.
“I think it would be great if OTC had it, Maxwell says, “or at least close by. That way, I could only take one bus to school instead of three.”
For now, however, Maxwell and many other Springfield students will just have to commute from farther away.