PITTSBURGH-Community College of
Allegheny County's South Campus is offering a new service to help
ensure students have everything they need to be successful beyond
the classroom. Following on the success of the Campus Cupboard Food
Pantry, South Campus has created the Campus Closet, which opened
with a soft launch in November. The Campus Closet provides
professional attire at no cost for students who don't have the
proper clothing for job interviews or conferences.
The idea came about when two
students who were selected for a leadership conference didn't have
appropriate clothing, so the student success coach attending the
conference with the students brought additional clothes for them.
Also, administrators have at times referred students to a nonprofit
organization to assist with professional attire for interviews.
"We started thinking about how we could fill the need right
here on campus as a result," said Dr. Kelli Maxwell, dean of
Student Development at South Campus.
Since the campus announced the
effort, the response has been tremendous, and donations have been
pouring in from across the college. The closet now has more than
500 items, including clothing, shoes, ties, belts, handbags,
padfolios, scarves and other accessories. Students are allowed to
visit once per semester and take three items; however, if they go
to CCAC South Campus Career Services for a resume review or a mock
interview, they can take up to five items per visit.
"Our entire mission is to get
students ready for those jobs that provide family sustaining
wages," said Maxwell. "We've put initiatives in place
to eliminate barriers to success, and this is one more barrier
students have to overcome. If students can get to that interview,
we want to be sure they are as prepared as they can possibly
The goal is to open the Campus
Closet on a regular basis in the spring. Currently, it is usually
open two hours a day, four days a week and is staffed by the same
students, staff and faculty members who volunteer at the food
pantry. Maxwell is also hoping to expand the offerings to include
scrubs and other uniform needs.
Donations of new or like-new
clothing are still needed, particularly in very small or very large
sizes for both men and women. Monetary donations from anyone who
would like to support the effort are also appreciated. For more
information or to donate, contact Dr. Kelli Maxwell at firstname.lastname@example.org.