Green building in the community college: a study to illuminate student and faculty perspectives
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Green building has become a popular topic of debate and discussion among stakeholders in higher education. Public expectations for colleges and universities to invest in green building are on the rise. These expectations are fueled in large part by the growing awareness of the detrimental impact of traditional building practices among students and other stakeholders. Community college leaders find themselves on the cusp of a serendipitous convergence—evidence suggests that green building is becoming increasingly cost effective, and supports positive growth of student learning outputs on standardized tests. This research was designed to capitalize on the tremendous opportunity to probe the experiences of faculty and students in these new green facilities, towards a more robust understanding of how educators can maximize the effect of new and emerging building projects across the country. Using reflexive photography, photo elicitation, and qualitative interviews, compelling stories from teachers and learners were collected and analyzed. Research synthesis includes recommendations for communication and organizational learning strategies, an argument for using green community colleges as a testing ground for innovation, and notes on the unique needs of faculty and students in a green community college.