Lack of Technology for College Students Contributes to Drop Out Rate

Lack of Technology for College Students Contributes to Drop Out Rate

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Thomas Onwiler is the Chief Technology Officer for Butte College (a California community college). He oversees and manages all of the technology on campus.  He works with three main groups, students being the primary group.  He also works with the faculty who use technology to teach classes, and administrators who use technology to track the student information and their work, as well as important college information.

In the fall if 2014 he started tracking students who did not have access to computers or the Internet.  Out of the 13,000 students 227-250 students were identified who did not have a computer and/or Internet at home. 

Thomas Onwiler is the Chief Technology Officer for Butte College (a California community college). He oversees and manages all of the technology on campus.  He works with three main groups, students being the primary group.  He works with three main groups, students being the primary group.  He also works with the faculty who use technology to teach classes, and administrators who use technology to track the student information and their work, as well as important college information.

 In the Fall if 2014 he started tracking students who did not have access to computers or the Internet.  Out of the 13,000 students 227-250 students were identified who did not have a computer and/or Internet at home. He was able to track this by asking all incoming students if they have access to technology and the Internet at home. Not having access to technology is a big problem for students.  Out of the 227-250 students 31 dropped out by the end of the year.  That is more than 10%.

Thomas works closely with Computers for Classrooms which refurbishes and sells used technology to students for affordable prices to help students get the technology they need.  Students can get a desktop computer with some useful software already loaded on it for $85 or a fully loaded laptop for only $150. Thomas makes sure that the school donates all of its technology (computers, servers, routers, etc.) to Computers for Classrooms.  When Computers for Classrooms receives the technology they refurbish it and sell it directly back to the students and local schools. 

An affordable rate is one of the important policies that is needed to close the Digital Divide.  This story is from one Community College of 1,047 public community colleges in the country.   It should be a national priority to see that every student has access to technology and the Internet at home.  

 

Author:  Shane Ford, Coro Youth Fellow 2015, a San Francisco High School Student

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