Attract millennials, teach skills, and recruit staff through a community college branch
Butler County Community College (locally known as BC3), needed a better way to process its student loan program disbursements. Armco Credit Union was looking for greater access to millennials, and broader awareness of its student loan program. A micro-branch, located in the BC3 student success center, could provide better, more personalized, and quicker access to funds for BC3 students. A partnership could also provide banking education to students through an internship program, and a low-risk recruiting and training pipeline for the credit union.
College Campus Branch
The Armco Credit Union Student Success Center branch is dedicated to enriching the lives of BC3 students. First and foremost, the branch is intended to make it easier for students to access their student loan disbursements. The credit union, in partnership with the college, makes loan funds available in new Armco accounts. A primary design objective, therefore, was to make this resource clearly evident to students in their daily campus experience. By removing physical barriers, and using large, brand-oriented signage, the presence of this new financial resource was difficult to miss.
Paid internships are also made available to student workers. Through this program, the credit union can provide valuable on-the-job training, and at the same time, access a renewable source of long-term employees. The team wanted seamless integration between the branch and student life activities. By designing branch waiting and meeting spaces for 24-hour-a-day use by students, the intent is to spark a students’ interest in the financial services sector.
The branch’s location adjacent to a central campus hub did create some logistical challenges during construction. To minimize disruption, the project had to be delivered during a short summer recess. Through careful procurement planning, selecting ready-to-ship materials and components, and crew-staging planning, the project was delivered in a brief six-week period, from demolition to branch opening.
The space available for Armco Credit Union was small and walled off from the communal areas of the BC3 student success center. The Momentum team came up with a design concept that involved removing the walls and opening the area up to 24 hour use by students. The campus facilities department embraced this idea and even proposed expanding the strategy to include another shared space, a conference area used by a student veterans group. What was originally a boxed in space is not a visible part of the student experience.