A new kind of
Students at Michigan’s Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC)
have a new resource to help them complete class work: a laptop
The machine dispenses laptops that students can use for
free by swiping their college ID card. When they’re finished
with their work, they insert the laptop back into the machine,
where its batteries are charged for the next user.
Plenty of colleges provide access to technology, but GRCC is the
only one in Michigan using this type of vending machine, according to Texas-based Laptops Anytime, which provides the devices.
“We know that not everyone has a computer at home or can
afford a laptop. We looked at this as a way to help those students in particular, but also anyone who needs to check one
out and get some work done,” said David Anderson, the head
of GRCC’s information technology department.
About 500 students have checked out a laptop since the fall,
logging about 660 hours of use.
GRCC’s Strategic Leadership Team provided a $35,000 grant to
purchase the vending machine as a pilot program. The machine
is located in the Student Community Center’s counseling area.
Positive public perception
Americans continue to hold community colleges in high regard, with 81 percent of respondents to a new national survey saying they are worth the cost.
The second annual higher education survey by New America again finds
that most Americans believe that well-paying jobs require education after
high school. However, they still are not satisfied with the current higher
education system, citing concerns about affordability and employment outcomes. Community colleges fared better on the survey than other sectors:
65 percent of those polled agreed public four-year institutions were worth
the cost. The report is online here: https://bit.ly/2pB476E
Greenville Technical College (GTC) and the
South Carolina Army National Guard have
partnered on a shared facility. With different
schedules and times of peak usage between
the facility’s two partners, sharing saves
taxpayer dollars while maximizing use of the
facility. Greenville Technical College’s aircraft
maintenance technology (AMT) program will
use the facility mainly during the week, while
the SC Army National Guard will use the facility
primarily on weekends.
The 95,225 square-foot, silver LEED-certified
facility is situated on 14 acres and is almost five
times the size of the AMT program’s former
home. GTC can now expand enrollment in
the program to better meet needs for aviation
employers. Training also will be offered to SC
Army National Guard personnel, supporting
their need for qualified technicians to work on
Lakota helicopters. The training will be offered
to the National Guard Bureau as a consolidated
regional or national training solution.
“Partnerships allow Greenville Technical
College to serve our area’s employers as we
ensure that students have the education needed
to succeed,” said GTC President Keith Miller.
Back when Florida’s two-year colleges first began offering bachelor’s degree programs, there was concern that these colleges were
duplicating programs at four-year public universities (and that
the degrees were substandard). Turns out, that’s not the case.
University of Florida researchers recently found that business at
four-year state universities has increased. These institutions awarded
25-percent more degrees a year in programs where local community
colleges offered a competing degree. Why? That’s still a mystery.
Private, for-profit universities have not fared so well. Their degree
output fell 45 percent when a nearby two-year institution offered
The Hechinger Report offers analysis: https://bit.ly/2voJ4Mv