Tarrant County College helped more than 400 students stay on track in their academic pursuits by loaning them laptops and devices, allowing them to successfully continue their studies online throughout the summer term.
This week was the first week that students who also needed Internet access were able to check out tablets with data packages. To date, TCC distributed 267 Chromebooks as well as 152 tablets with data packages. Students picked up devices over two consecutive weeks from drive-through distribution points at TCC’s five physical locations throughout Tarrant County. TCC staff practiced safe CDC social distancing guidelines by wearing masks and gloves to distribute equipment.
Before each distribution, TCC staff contacted students who self-reported a need for technology through an online survey or who contacted TCC staff to ensure they knew how to pick up the loaners. Students can still seek assistance by completing the form provided on Blackboard. Faculty and staff who become aware of a student’s need also may submit a request on the student’s behalf. An additional 86 students have requested assistance since the distribution started.
“When COVID-19 started spreading across the world last month during Spring Break, getting the school and our students ready for online operations became Information Technology (IT)’s number one goal,” said TCC Chief Technology Officer Bob Pacheco. “IT immediately reorganized into dedicated work teams to move the entire district online. We acquired equipment to bridge the ‘digital divide,’ ensuring all students who desire to take courses at TCC have the technology to be successful during these challenging times.
“It has been a race to get these devices delivered, configured and into our students’ hands. All of TCC came together to make this happen. IT Support Services collaborated with the Center for Teaching and Learning. Our librarians and their staffs mobilized to implement the campus-based delivery using the same system used to check out books,” Pacheco said. “This ongoing delivery will continue for as long as needed. We will meet our students wherever they are to ensure they receive quality education. No student coming to TCC should worry about completing their course work for lack of device or Internet access.”