To help alleviate the stress of final exams, the Learning Resources department at SPC launched the Chill Zone, a relaxation area at the entrance of the Tarpon Springs Campus library, during the spring semester finals week.
The event helped promote student engagement and success by giving students a place to relax during the stressful academic week.
Ethan Hart, associate director of Learning Resources at the Tarpon Springs Campus, wanted to offer a variety of tools to ease students’ stress.
“We wanted to appeal to our students’ different needs by offering art activities, relaxing music, snacks, games and visits by a licensed therapy dog,” Hart said.
The Chill Zone was a hit, thanks in part to funding by the Tarpon Springs Campus Provost Office as well as art materials from the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art. Students congregated in the comfy seating area daily, taking time to visit with friends, catch up on reading or hone their art skills with coloring books.
Bailey, the therapy dog from Suncoast Hospice, also was a fan favorite. Students in the middle of cramming for finals took a much needed break when the friendly Bichon Frise stopped by to say hello.
Students, staff and faculty have been overwhelmingly supportive of the Chill Zone in recent surveys. The Learning Resources department plans to offer this service every term during finals week.
The Chill Zone served as only one of many Spring 2014 initiatives aimed at increasing student engagement by the campus’ Learning Resources department. Other activities included:
- “Ed App Wednesday” – Each week, Learning Resources staff members highlighted a free, new educational tool useful for students. Armed with cards, posters and QR codes, staff members walked around campus on Wednesdays, letting the campus community know about the resources that were available.
- Educational outreach – Learning Resources staff set up a table at Student Life and Leadership events like the Earth Day celebration, Welcome Back Week and African-American History month. Staff members brought library books related to the event theme, workshop schedules and an iPad to answer any on-the-spot questions.