5 Things Commuter Students Need To Know

Site Search

5 Things Commuter Students Need To Know5 Things Commuter Students Need To Know

5 Tips for Commuters

The life of a commuter: Your laptop needs a charge. So does your phone. You packed a snack but it needs a fridge and a microwave. You have two hours to kill before your next class. You are seriously stressed trying to juggle everything. And by the way, that math class is really, really hard.

The struggle can be real. To help, meet director Sheleta Webb in the Office of Commuter and Non-Traditional Student Services, located in 123 Natali Student Center.

Sheleta’s passion is to make a group that equals more than 70 percent of Cal U’s student population feel connected to the University.

“Sometimes,” she says, “the main thing is to let them know there are people here to help.”

Tips for Commuter and Non-Traditional Students

Here are 5 things commuter and non-traditional students need to know. We’ve also added some tips from the Office of Parking and Transportation for those who will be driving to campus. 

  1. The Energy Zone: On the first floor of Natali, this “home base” for commuters is new for fall 2015. Why it’s cool: A place to charge your gadgets, lockers, and a kitchenette with fridge and microwave. Also look for Commuter Pods with charging stations in Keystone and Eberly halls, with more in the works. 
  2. Beyond academics: In addition to the student success staff in Noss Hall, all students — including commuters — have access to services such as the recreation center, clubs and organizations and health and wellness services
  3. Discounts: Commuter students and families visited to the Pittsburgh Zoo in May, with discounted tickets, and Sheleta says the trip was a huge success. Look for more activities planned with non-traditional students and their families in mind.
  4. FYI events: A “soup and conversation” monthly event last year is back in 2015-2016. Sometimes it’s just chit-chat among students. Sometimes staff from a Cal U office stops by for a little Q&A. Other events feature tips from places like AAA Roadside Safety.
  5. Speak up: Sheleta enjoys hearing from you. Formally, you could join the Commuter Council to set agendas. Informally, you could e-mail her or call. She’s cool either way. 

5 Things Commuter Students Need to Know presented Graphically (Same list as above)


Chances are most of you will be driving to campus. Here are some things to remember, according to Christopher Johnson, director in the Office of Parking and Transportation

  1. Parking is enforced 24/7 in all lots on campus. You need a permit. The permit is for a specific lot, not “the closest lot to the class that I’m late for.”
  2. Two lots are exceptions to that last sentence: 11 (near Morgan Hall and the Convocation Center) and 17 (behind the Natali Student Union) have hourly metered parking. If you aren’t on campus often or are attending an event, these may be options for you.
  3. Vulcan Flyers provide free shuttle service between the upper and main campuses as well as transportation to the Walmart in Brownsville, Pa. Free  services are also provided by Mid Mon Valley Transit, including park-and-ride options and transportation to and from Pittsburgh. 

More information

Office of Commuter and Non-Traditional Student Services
123 Natali Student Center

Office of Parking and Transportation
123 Manderino Library