Mid-State Foundation donates 40 computers to help students finish semester
While Mid-State Technical College quickly innovated to move the majority of its instruction to online delivery in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Mid-State Foundation, Inc., moved just as quickly to provide the technology students would need to participate in those classes, purchasing 40 new HP ProBook x360 laptops students can check out to complete their work from home.
According to Foundation Director Jill Steckbauer, when Governor Evers mandated the closure of Mid-State’s campuses, College officials immediately recognized the variety of needs its students would face with the move to online instruction and reached out to the Foundation to see whether funding was available to acquire the laptops.
“The Foundation board of directors had the foresight to establish an unrestricted board designated fund back in 2017 for just this type of unforeseen circumstance,” Steckbauer said. “We are fortunate and honored to have amazing donors and a board who understands the importance of education on the continued success of the communities in which we learn, work, live and play each and every day.”
Thirty-five students quickly took advantage of the program by filling out a request form on Mid-State’s website and specifying their needs. Many of them were able to pick up a laptop tailored to their class requirements before instruction resumed via virtual delivery on March 30.
Those needs go beyond merely having any kind of internet-enabled computer at home, as many Mid-State classes require special capabilities or software such as MasterCam computer-aided design software used for manufacturing, QuickBooks, Studio 5000 or Adobe Creative Suite. Some students in the health programs required technology that would allow for a LockDown Browser when taking tests. Some simply needed a computer with a webcam and mic built into the device because their home technology did not allow for that.
The laptops are currently on loan to students for the remainder of the semester; however, the College will make them available to students to check out again next semester should the need continue.
For more information and to learn of other ways Mid-State is working to support its students during the COVID-19 closure and ensure they remain on track to graduation, visit mstc.edu/covid-19-coronavirus.