CCAC South Campus opens Campus Closet service to help students dress for success

CCAC South Campus Closet volunteers
CCAC South Campus Closet
CCAC South Campus Closet volunteer
Article by: CCAC Public Relations

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 be."

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

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