Why Our Approach to Higher Education Leads to Successful Projects

Each higher education institution is truly unique. Because of this, many clients aren’t exactly sure what design needs they have, let alone the steps they need to take to get it. In these instances, our job is to help them explore their options. Other times, a client will know exactly what they want, and our initial job is to listen. Whatever the situation, our approach always starts with you. Our approach to higher education architecture seeks to involve everyone who will be impacted by the project. As important as it may be to solve problems for the client themselves, that’s rarely enough. We need to know what their users (students and faculty) need, want, and expect. We have found that this leads to a widely successful project for everyone involved. Because of this, we’ve optimized our approach around the concept of listening to everyone and placing a spotlight on your students, in addition to addressing the wants and needs of our clients.

Involving Everyone

One of the clearest definitions of success for colleges and universities right now is the ability to attract and retain students. A big part of achieving this is having facilities that speak to your students. The best way to ensure that happens? Hearing them out. Your students’ wants, needs, and desires, from an educational perspective, is the foundation of our approach to increasing demand for your institution through design. This can be conceptualized by learning our design philosophy, Upward Thinking. This is more than just a concept – it’s a philosophy that is embodied in our higher education approach from day one with the actions we take to put students first. This student-first mentality helps deliver on our promise to create a better experience for students and faculty. Of course, students are only part of the picture – the type of education they’re receiving matters too. We also involve your faculty to better understand your desired educational outcomes and make sure that our designs match the needs of your educational programs.

Your Goals Drive our Designs

We are well aware that your university is more than a school to you. A university operates as a business just as much as it operates as a school. As the competition among institutions increases, the need for student-first designs becomes more than optional. CMBA’s approach to higher education prioritizes working within your capital management plan to design architecture that stands out from the rest and meets your needs. We take the time to evaluate your current conditions – including the useful lifespan of your buildings – and your current space utilization. In some instances, we have found that simply repurposing the space you already have can solve many of your problems. We seek to fully understand everyone’s situation before making any decisions. We see value in getting input from your faculty, administration, students, and even your community. We believe this is the only way to reliably design a wildly successful campus project.

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Our offices across Iowa and Nebraska have specialists ready to work on projects throughout the country. Learn more about each office below and reach out to discuss your next project.

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