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Laptop Programs At Community Colleges
America’s student battle against income inequality is being ambitiously led by its community colleges. In 2009, President Obama launched the American Graduation Initiative with the earnest goal of having 60% of all Americans attain a bachelor’s degree by 2020. As of 2019, the proportion of Americans holding a bachelor’s degree climbed from 39% to just under 48%. The current pace, unfortunately, falls significantly short of meeting that goal. In fact, according to the Hechinger Report, the goal of 60% may not be met until 2041.
My College Laptop, an education resource website that advocates for technology immersion in colleges, believes technology has been unfairly vilified as the driver of income inequality. The Pew Research Center recently highlighted the technology gap, particularly access to technology by low income Americans, as a key driver of income inequality.
Lower – income Americans continue to lag behind in technology adoption % of U.S adults who have the following..
Resource: Survey conducted Sept 29-Nov 06, 2016 PEW RESEARCH CENTER
Americans with incomes less than $30,000 have lower access to all forms of technology ranging from laptops to smartphones to high speed internet access. This “technology gap” places low income individuals at an extreme disadvantage when compared to individuals from higher income brackets.
Studies by K-12 education researchers at Michigan State University demonstrate positive student outcomes of 1:1 laptop programs, teacher training programs and technology immersion programs.
“With positive student outcomes in K-12 across all cohorts and income levels, it’s exciting to see robust college laptop programs thriving in community colleges. . If we assume that K-12 institutions are leading indicators, community colleges that address the tech gap will ultimately improve student outcomes”, said Terrence Thomas, Managing Director of My College Laptop.
My College Laptop, has compiled a list of innovative community colleges that are aggressively addressing the technology gap for their students. The community colleges listed below are not ranked in a traditional sense. Instead, we wanted to positively highlight the resourcefulness and determination of community colleges in addressing the technology gap by offering laptops to students.“
HCC’s library provides ADA compliant laptops available for eligible HCC students in good standing. The ADA laptops are available for check out daily or an hourly basis provided and must be returned on time. The program is partly funded by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Students can use laptops on- campus or off-campus. For students working on long term projects, there is a 3-week checkout program available and students have the option to extend for an additional 3 weeks under extenuating circumstances. HCC’s Library Services also provides students with free laptop loaner equipment, on a first-come-first-served basis with a signed Letter of Accommodation s(LOA) from an ADA Counselor.
Clovis Community College’s Laptop Loan Policy program that provides computers free of charge, to their students who are currently registered. Students may check out laptops for as long as 7 days and the machines are due on the same day of the following week. Students can also check out machines again within 24 hours after the initial machine is returned.
Shoreline Community College offers laptop checkout services for students studying online that require a laptop equipped for modern study. The student must be currently registered for at least 1 online course to be eligible for the program. For students that attend exclusively online or live 50 miles or greater from SCC, SCC accommodates them by mailing laptops to the student’s home address at the beginning of each quarter. The check-out begins at the start of the quarter until the end of the current quarter. 8 MacBook Pros, 24 Chromebooks, and 5 PC laptops are available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Laptops are available for use for all Mt. San Antonio College students in good standing and can be checked out at the Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) Library. Students are limited to a two hour loan period to ensure maximum usage. Laptops are restricted for use within the Mt. SAC Library. Wireless internet is available.
Mt. Sac Promise + Plus Program
Mt. San Antonio College wants every eligible student, regardless of income or background, to experience the transformative experience of a college education. The Mt. Sac Promise + Program combines support services to ensure student success. Students enrolled in the program receive career training, personalized assistance in earning a degree or transfer credits to a university. First-time, first-year college students enrolled in the program also receive:
Free $250 Book Grant
Free $100 Food Card
Free Laptop Loan
Free Bus Pass 24/7 on Foothill transit Lines
Free Mountie gear and school supplies
Students that complete the STEP program or Summer Bridge program are rewarded with an artfully designed Mt. SAC college T-shirt, a school backpack and a student planner.
Western Iowa Tech Community College has a device initiative for students that have paid the standard tuition/ course fees and are enrolled in credit earning courses with an Apple MacBook. The laptop is for use while students are enrolled in credit earning courses at WITCC.
Students are advised to check with student services for enrollment and eligibility dates. MacBook’s are preloaded with the standard OS and students also can access Office 365 for free if the Office suite is required to complete their studies.
Students who are registered online or with at least one Z-course can borrow a laptop for the entire semester as part of the Montgomery College General Studies LaptopLending program. Laptops are lent on a first-come-first-serve basis. Students can pick up their laptops at the Rockville bookstore during the first week of classes once registration is confirmed. Students can also reserve a laptop before the start of the semester if he/she is registered online. There is no cost to participate in this program.
The Portland Community College Bookstore has partnered with Dell and HP to provide discounts to students, faculty, and staff. To qualify for the discount offered, a student is required to provide proof of current enrollment and show their student ID with the current term sticker attached. The Sylvania Campus Bookstore also has a purchasing department (PantherTEK) with demo models on display.
Laptop Program Details: In partnership with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Connect to Success initiative, the Los Angeles College Promise (LACP) provides free tuition (2 years) and offers free laptops students. Students must be first-time Angelino college to be eligible. All laptops are loaded with the standard PC operating system and come with one-year of free tech support, hardware warranty and assistance to help students access the internet. LACP’s Connect to Success initiative estimates that 6,000 students will receive free laptops in 2019-2020.Students can keep the laptop if they are fully enrolled in the LACP (Los Angeles College Promise) program and attend one of the 9 LACCD campuses.
Students at Everett Community College can check out Netbooks for a full quarter. This program is funded by the student ETec fee. The rental Netbook runs on Windows 10 and has Office 365 installed. Netbooks may be used on or off-campus to support student learning needs. The College Library is also piloting a lending program with a limited number of NOOK Simple Touch eReaders, and students can check out these devices for 22 days with renewals. The eReaders can be used to download free ebooks from the EvCC library and other public library collections. Student can also purchase ebooks from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Unfortunately, devices can’t be used for accessing websites or email accounts. Please take note that these e-readers are not compatible with NookStudy.
Laptop Program Details: Harrisburg Area Community College has a PC loan program for students that do not have any form of computer access. Eligible students must be degree-seeking (diploma, certificate or associate degree), maintain good academic standing with a GPA of 2.0 or greater and should be currently enrolled in at least 6 credits (4 credits for students in clinical disciplines).
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