Herkimer College began a laptop loaner program and will be shipping left behind belongings and study items to students.
Herkimer County Community College is removing the barriers to successful education in the wake of COVID-19 by developing a laptop loaner program for students in need, as well as offering other technological assistance, academic support, and personal enrichment.
A survey was sent out to students last week before courses began Monday, March 30 to gauge their top concerns about using alternative modes of delivery. For some, problems began right at the root of distance learning: not having access to a computer or internet services at home.
“It’s challenging not to have a working computer to manage your studies from home,” said Edris Noori, network administrator at the College. “We are doing anything we can do provide laptops to those who need them as quickly as possible.”
The College shipped out seven laptops the weekend before classes started — including expedited shipping to students as far as California — and about 100 more are on their way from the State University of New York. The College’s WiFi access also remains open and available from outside the Robert McLaughlin College Center for Herkimer College and other SUNY students who may not have access to internet at home.
The Housing Office has also been working diligently with students who inadvertently left their books and course materials in on-campus housing when they left for Spring Break, before the College announced the move to alternative modes of delivery. Textbooks and other study supplies will be mailed to students’ homes to ensure they do not fall behind.
Outside of tangible efforts, the College has expanded the online access of its student support services — including tutoring, personal counseling, career services, and library resources — and created alternative means of connecting with admissions staff through virtual information sessions. The Center for Student Leadership and Involvement also compiled a list of virtual events being hosted nationwide for students to take part in.
“Our priorities at Herkimer College remain firmly centered on our students’ health and well-being, and your ability to successfully complete your studies and reach your academic goals,” Provost Michael Oriolo said to students in a recent statement. “Please know that we stand ready to assist you with whatever needs you are experiencing with your courses. We are here for you, so do not hesitate to reach out to us for help and support. We look forward to continuing to work with you, and we wish you success with your studies.”