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EMCC loaning laptops to students in need

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In an unprecedented move, Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) is loaning nearly 500 school laptops to students in need. It’s just one of EMCC’s many efforts to provide its students with the resources they need to succeed while the campus is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

EMCC, like many schools across the nation, quickly took steps last month to ensure the safety of its students and employees amid the spread of COVID-19. In-person and hybrid classes were moved online and non-essential employees were instructed to work remotely. Faculty and staff have worked tirelessly during this time to keep students apprised of the most up-to-date information and the various resources available to them.

“We’ve been messaging students, making them aware of all of the resources that are still available despite the campus being closed,” said Dr. Pattie Cardenas-Adame, EMCC Vice President of Student Affairs. “Students can still get tutoring, they can still talk to a counselor, they can still meet with an adviser. It’s just all done virtually right now. But we realized that many of our students may not have computers at home.”

So IT got to work, literally around the clock, to gather up the school’s laptops and prepare them for students.

“We dismantled 18 classrooms in Ocotillo,” said Chad Galligan, Associate Vice President Technology Services. “Then we extended a high-speed network connection from the data center to the conference center to speed up the imaging process.”

All students should have received an email on April 2 directing them to this form to request a laptop. But the school has a limited supply so only students who do not have access to a computer should apply.

“We are urging family members to share their computers and reminding students that they can connect to Canvas from their phones,” EMCC President Dr. Rey Rivera said. “Students can complete some of their assignments on their mobile devices.”

Students who are approved to borrow a laptop will be asked for identifying information prior to pickup to limit interaction during the checkout process. Students must provide their own internet access. EMCC has listed providers and resources on its Student Resources page.

To learn more about how Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) and the Maricopa Community Colleges District are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit https://www.estrellamountain.edu/students/covid-19-student-resources.

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