West Georgia Technical College students will see major technology upgrades on campuses this fall, as the College deploys almost 600 new workstations and doubles the bandwidth of its internet connection.
Executive Director of Information Technology Sam Jenkins said technicians are working to install the new desktop workstations in classrooms and labs with greatest need.
“We have worked directly with Academic Affairs to identify the specific programs and rooms that need new computers,” Jenkins said. “We’re focusing on our business and computer information systems programs initially. These areas also will be upgraded to the latest version of Microsoft Office software. The programs are teaching this software beginning in the fall.”
Overall, the College is investing about $350,000 in new equipment for fall semester, Jenkins said.
“I meet with students periodically throughout the year, and this investment in technology is a direct response to feedback I’ve received from students,” President Steve G. Daniel said. “We are a technical college, our slogan is ‘Technically, the Best!’ and we need to make sure our students have current equipment.”
Jenkins said the entire College will benefit from a higher speed internet connection.
“We’re doubling the speed of our network’s connection to the internet, so all students, faculty and staff should notice an improvement in network speed, whether they are using a new computer or not,” Jenkins said. “We’ve also removed some network bottlenecks between the Douglas Campus and our network hub at the Murphy Campus. Douglas Campus has a high student volume and network load, so this should be a notable improvement for them.”
Daniel said West Georgia Tech intends to make an increased IT investment over the next several years.
“We plan to invest about $1 million in IT upgrades over the next four years,” Daniel said. “I think it’s important for students to know that we’re investing in technology to improve their experience,” he said. “It’s vital to us that students are trained on the same technology they will encounter on the job.”
Jenkins said the new workstations have also allowed WGTC to repurpose about 130 older computers that still have value into other areas.
“Our ongoing plan is to place the newest and best equipment in our high technology programs,” Jenkins said. “As we move older equipment from these areas, we can use it to replace outdated systems in other areas.”
The College is replacing equipment used to test incoming students for placement and has also installed a new deployment server to help technicians push new software out as they set up labs.
“We have made a significant investment for fall semester,” Jenkins said. “I’m pleased to say we have a good plan to continue upgrading our technology infrastructure.”