Allen Administration Addresses a Growing Transportation Issue


Andres Espinel, Student Reporter

As cases of Covid-19 decrease, Allen Community College administration is looking for adjustments in students’ transportation to and from Kansas City Airport by analyzing other colleges policies and procedures. An increase of students and the expansion of recruitment that the college has seen in recent years, especially international students, has Allen administrative staff attempting to analyze and address how students are getting in or out of the Red Devil’s campus.

Cynthia Jacobson, Vice President for Student Affairs, met with The Flame to talk about the annual evaluation of the transportation of students, where the biggest obstacle is the distance between the Allen campus and Kansas City Airport. The administrative staff has been trying to solve it in several ways, with different approaches. Nevertheless, the evaluations show that transportation for students is still lacking, especially for international students.

Initial thoughts involved a solution to schedule a general pick-up of students in Terminal C of the airport, at 10 pm on three specific days. But the feedback was not good. Many students, mostly international students, arrive in Kansas during the day or after 10 p.m., forcing them to spend several hours or even all night inside the airport terminal. For context, the only service available, during the night, is the use of restrooms.

This same dilemma would occur when students needed to go to the airport. The college would drop them off at 10:00 a.m. on three separate days of the week. Although the wait may be long, if the student arrives within the three days offered by the college, he/she would get the shuttle service. However, the problem occurs in the idea that if the student cannot arrive or leave within that time frame, how does he/she get to or from campus?

Due to this issue, Allen Community College has decided to be more rigorous with the dates on which students need to arrive on campus.

“Students are coming back too late”, said Cynthia Jacobson, “we expect people to be here for the 16 weeks planned for their education. Otherwise, we will make a plan for … 14 weeks…”.

In order to give better transportation, Allen is planning to make changes in this service. Although, for now, they are still working to define how much it will change.

Jacobson disclosed some of the thoughts the administration is discussing. These include: offering different days during the week and on weekends and different pick-up and drop-off hours before classes begin and after classes are done.

Additionally, the administration agreed to have a person or coach or college staff that could accompany the students on their trip to and from college.

Finally, the administration will give the students the choice to choose a “Care Package” in the housing portal. This package will contain some stuff for a mattress, a towel, and maybe snacks for the trip on the bus, the types of items that a Freshman could forget or not know to bring into his/her new home.