Make a campus wide equipment checkout program

It isn’t anything new that textbook prices and other expenses for college students have risen over the years. It is also safe to say that with the rise in technology, schools have been looking for ways to integrate that technology into the classroom. But what about students from low income families or those who do not have time to work enough to afford the technology needed for their classes and their major?

The school should adopt an equipment/technology rental program where students can borrow electronics such as cameras, laptops, graphing calculators or tablets for a short period of time. With such a program, students can keep up with their assignments and not allow their income to interfere with their education.

Eighty-nine percent of college students own a laptop and 51 percent of students own a tablet according to the Pearson Student Mobile Device Survey on college students. Even though these numbers suggest the majority of the college population is equiped, this checkout system needs to be established for the minority.

Students need access to technology today more than ever. Most classes require students to prepare slideshows presentations for a grade. Moodle – soon to be canvas – is another tool that students would need to access to complete assignments. Without Moodle, students can’t turn in many assignments or take quizzes which can affect your grade.

Pierce could set up a check-in and check-out system  the Library / Learning Crossroads.

The Library / Learning Crossroads has already addressed the textbook problem and has ordered copies of textbooks that students require so they may check them out when needed. Let’s get ahead of the game and put Pierce College students in the best position to succeed.

All of this equipment adds up when you need multiple gadgets for different classes. But with over 20,000 students on campus, Pierce can add a $1 to $2 technology fee at the beginning of each semester. In the first year, the school would be able to supply the Library / Learning Crossroads with enough equipment to get this endeavor started. There would be late fees on returns on an hourly basis, as is already the case for borrowed textbooks. To help get this program kick started, the Associated Student Organization could help put some of the money since this program directly affects what the ASO is about.

Behind the checkout counter of the Library / Learning Crossroads, there is room for cabinets and safes where staff can store the equipment and rent it out to students who need it. Students would also need to leave a copy of identification and sign forms to ensure that students won’t steal or break the equipment without repercussions.

The world of technology is moving faster than ever and it has the opportunity to expand the way students learn. Community College is an institution which gives people of every background a level playing field. Let’s help keep everyone up to par.