Every undergraduate student who arrives at Lawrence Technological University for the start of classes on Aug. 25 will receive a new laptop or tablet computer loaded with software with a retail value that in many cases approaches $15,000.
In 2001, Lawrence Tech became the first university in Michigan to provide laptops to every undergraduate student. Nine years later, Lawrence Tech remains unique in Michigan and rare nationally by supplying a computer and all the software programs students need for their courses.
Software provided to students in Lawrence Tech’s College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Management has a student retail value of $11,926. The software packages for the College of Architecture and Design and College of Engineering have a student retail value of $12,360 and $14,873, respectively. Software packages are customized for several degree programs.
This fall, Lawrence Tech is providing new Lenovo laptops to most architecture students and Fujitsu Lifebook tablets to engineering, management and arts and sciences students. Both computers are configured with at least a 320-gigabyte hard drive and four gigabytes of random access memory with new processors. Students in transportation design, imaging, and media communication are provided MacBook Pro machines.
Lawrence Tech will issue more than 2,600 new computers, and that volume enables the university to negotiate volume discounts on the software needed by students, according to Tim Chavis, executive director of IT service delivery at Lawrence Tech.
“It’s a lot of work loading all that software in customized configurations for students, but they end up with everything they need to study and experiment in our rigorous curricula,” Chavis said.
Having students and faculty use the same version of software programs accelerates the instructional process, aids team collaborations, eases the transfer of data, and provides students with up-to-date skills matching industry expectations, according to Chavis.
“The software we provide to support our academic programs meets industry standards and has been recommended by industry practitioners,” Chavis said.
Lawrence Tech has also consolidated and upgraded documentation and instructions at ehelp.ltu.edu.
Lawrence Tech students have the resources on their own computers that are often found elsewhere in university computer labs. That 24/7 convenience maximizes the learning process, according to Lawrence Tech Provost Maria Vaz.
“We feel it is essential that our students are familiar with the software tools they will encounter in the work place,” said Vaz. “We provide our students with the software they need to hit the ground running at the start of their careers, and since it is on their computers, they can access it from home, at work, or anywhere on campus, regardless of proximity or their financial situation.”
Lawrence Technological University offers more than 100 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus is in Southfield, and programs are also offered in Detroit, Lansing, Petoskey and Traverse City. Lawrence Tech also offers programs with partner universities in Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
More at www.ltu.edu.
(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.