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Tech Resources - revision 4-18-06

Page history last edited by PBworks 18 years, 3 months ago

Technology Resources

Technology resources are used to support student learning programs and services and to improve institutional effectiveness. Technology planning is integrated with institutional planning.

1. The institution assures that any technology support it provides is designed to meet the needs of learning, teaching, college-wide communications, research, and operational systems.

The IT support at LA Mission College was restructured following a technology Master Plan to ensure that the needs of learning, teaching, college-wide communications, research, and operational systems are met. The technology committees along with technology staff do their best to make sure all needs are identified. Both employee and student surveys were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness and use of technology by staff and students. This will be done again in Fall 2006.

a. Technology services, professional support, facilities, hardware, and software are designed to enhance the operation and effectiveness of the institution.

Descriptive Summary

A number of campus and district committees have played an integral role in guiding the planning, acquisitions and support of technologies. At the district level, the District Technology committees recommend computers, network equipments; provide the network guidelines, district application information and procedures to college technology. The college committees set forth the general plans and goals for the college. Most of hardware standardization, network security and network application have been District driven. The college technology and academic senate have been instrumental in recommending new policies, and procedures related technology to the college. These recommendations and procedures are submitted to the executive staff for approval. The integration of technology into the student learning process, administrative services and to support teaching includes:


Faculty and Staff Access to Technology


The web based enrollment reports and on-line curriculum were developed to assist faculty especially department chairs to check the enrollment of their classes and be able to compare between the current year and the previous year. The on-line web based curriculum was also developed to assist the curriculum committee to revise, upload the PNCR from off campus. Curriculum information is now centralized in database server.


The college web sites were hosted from outside vendor. This had caused the limitation of space usage per user and limitation of the number of web pages for faculty. In October 2005, the IT department had brought the campus sites back to campus to be hosted on campus. Every part time, full time now are encouraged to have their own pages for their classes.


The Lotus CC:mail had been replaced with the MS Outlook with Exchange 2003 server. New email service is available to all full time/part time faculty members. The conversion to Microsoft Exchange has streamlined the communication and activities scheduling among the faculty, staff and administration. All 7 year old, un-supportive servers had replaced with up to date servers and five years supports. All faculty computers with PII or III or Celeron are upgraded to Pentium IV. All faculty computers are connected to the college data communication network. All full time faculty members have a P4 computer. All part time faculties are provided a shared computer areas equipped with P4 computers.


College IT staff developed How-to guides, documentation, and handouts for Outlook email and Secure FTP. IT staffs had scheduled 10 hours each day provided on site support at faculty cluster during the first week of semester. A one-to-consultant or live support to assist faculty in the use new email system were also provided. A series of Outlook and Outlook Web Access workshops from basics to advanced levels are also scheduled through out the semester to faculty and staff. Faculty and Staff can receive on-line self-space trainings provided by the Staff Development Coordinator.


Campus administrative network application is determined by the district to ensure the compatibilities and a standard district wide interface. District network applications are SAP, Budget Prep and District portal sites. The college also develops the standard installed software to all staff and faculty computers. These software included MS office 2003 package products, Anti Virus, Adobe Reader, File Transfer Protocol programs, and Internet access.

New Student Tracking System - Implementation of the current tracking hour to the legacy system in the computer lab is the first priority project in the year of 2006. The new system named NetTrack allows faculty and students to track their time for credit any time on campus via the browser. The system allows the instructors to gather the statistic of student activities by discipline or subjects.


With new classrooms equipped with mounting LCD projector and electronic screen in the CSB, more faculties are using newer technology in their classrooms. The new high resolution LCD projectors were installed at LRC 205 and 234 to assist teaching. With Title V grant, Math lab has 36 high end computers to support math software. It also includes the Smart board, document camera and mounting projector to assist teaching by using technology


Audio Visual materials and equipment is located in the campus center. The hours of service are from 7:00am to 7:30 pm Monday thru Friday and, Saturday 8:00 am to 12:00pm. The instructional Media department offers a wide variety of equipment and services to the campus, such vhs duplications, cd duplications, audiocassette duplications, PowerPoint presentation, word documents, and excel. The equipment that is offered covers a wide scope of instructional equipment, such as media carts which house a computer and a lcd projector, overhead projector, audio playback, Public Announcement Services, TVVCR/DVD, close circuit broadcasts, Teleconferencing, satellite Downlink broadcasting, and distant learning. Equipment can be obtained by making an appointment online to have equipment delivered to their class, or picked up at their own discretion. One of the new features that were added to our Collaborative Studies was Smart Technology to each room. The instructors are now able to go to their class and use state of the art audiovisual equipment station in the classroom. The Technology Department supervises the audiovisual technician, and supports the needs and maintenance contracts on as needed bases or through other contracted maintenance agreements.


The total of 20 high end printers, copiers are going to deploy in most of the buildings, offices, faculty cluster, library and LRC. This implementation will provide the redundancy at the faculty cluster and reprographic office.


Students Access to Technology


Departmental computing labs related to specific curriculum has increased in numbers of computers, and audio/visual equipments. These labs are:


The Chem lab has 7 computers for students, 2 overhead projectors, and TV’s that are used in instruction. The Bio Lab has 7 desktops that are used by students to enhance learning of human anatomical parts through A.D.A.M.S. software, to perform Physiology simulation experiments through BioPac and PhysioEx software, to conduct research on scientific literature using the Internet, and to work on their laboratory investigation reports.


The CAOT lab has 15 B&W laser printers and 57 workstations for students to use while learning computer applications and office technology. This lab also has an assistant who is working part time for the college. The CIS lab has three different computer labs. Two of them have newer computers, while the third really needs new work stations. These labs are central to the CIS program and are used throughout the day by classes and for open lab. The CIS department has two full time lab assistants.


In 2004 the Natural Science Department purchased the equipment needed to modernize our physics lab to CBL (computer based lab) capability. We purchased seven new DeskPro computers with flat-panel monitors for data acquisition. The data are collected by a complete set of Labpro sensors, including five sets each of accelerometer, motion detector, microphone, photogate timer, pulley attachment and dual-range force sensor. This brings our physics lab into the 21st century. In 2005, we also purchased three new telescopes for our astronomy program: 8-inch Newtoninan reflectors with Dobsonian mounts.


DSPS provides students with disabilities training to access the technology and software resources. The DSPS initiates these efforts in the High Tech Center located in DSPS office to assist their students the developed of computer basics skills in the use of campus instructional computer labs and classrooms. The DSPS staff including the DSPS Access Technology Specialist work with campus IT personnel and LRC personnel to make the Learning Resource Center accessible and compliant.


Library had 20 student computers. In 2003 those were upgraded and 8 more were added. Now there are 27 student computers. Students have campus and home access (with a password) to the various databases the library subscribes too. The library also has Microsoft Office on our computers so students can type their papers, etc and print them (especially if the computer commons is closed) In June, 2005 the library upgraded their online catalog to Sirsi. Students can now access the catalog through the internet at home.


The four multimedia labs are multi-computer teaching facilities dedicated to multimedia students. It consists of 30 PC, 25 G4, video and sound editing software, digital cameras, projectors, scanners, dedicated MAC and PC servers. These support student and faculty using computer workstations to produce graphics, hypertext, video, animation and sound. The 25 of 30 existing PCs are insufficient to run multimedia software.


Writing labs had 18 P4 stations with ESL software to assist students to improve vocabulary, grammar, writing and reading. Math labs had 38 workstations with math software. This lab also used as the teaching lab.


In additional to discipline labs, the Learning Resource Center is the only open lab to students on campus provided multiple subjects included the Internet access. Numerous of software are installed at LRC to assist students in basic skills with different subjects, such as Math, ESL, Grammar, and sciences. The college purchased 108 new Pentium4 computers equipped with 108 flat panels in LRC in 2004. In 2006, the college had upgraded additional 18 computers from P2 to P4. The total P4 computers in LRC are 126. The lab is opened from 8 AM – 8 PM from Monday to Thursday, closed on Friday, and opened only 4 hours on Saturday.


On-line course status reports are available to students to check the status of classes prior the enrollment. The IT department is on the process of developing a Student Events link on the main college web pages to announce all student activities or campus related student events.


Self evaluation:


The college web pages are maintained with Microsoft FrontPage and Dreamweaver. Web pages are static pages required manual uploading the entire pages after modification. The college lacks of web based services which are now high demand in technology. These services included online counseling, online survey, online submitting work request for Plant Facilities and Information Technology department and online submitting audio/video reservation equipments. The college addresses this problem by contracting developers to design campus in house web based applications and re-design the college web pages dynamically with student focused.


Distance learning classes are becoming more common each year. These courses are offered fully or partially online. There is the need for an interactive video mode such as WebCast and PodCast which the Distance learning director and IT department are working together to deploy by year of 2006 if time and funds are allowed.


The LRC opened lab hours are limited to students especially full time working students who need to do their home works in the late evening, Friday and Saturday. The LRC is not the only opened computer labs to students but also the tutoring center on campus. The schedule of the lab and tutoring should be extended during the week days and Saturday especially during the final examination.


b. The institution provides quality training in the effective application of its information technology to students and personnel.


Descriptive Summary

Technology training for students, staff and faculty are addressed at many levels, and came from different sources. Students are trained in academic programs, cooped programs and vocational programs which offer at the college. The college provides training to students in specific laboratories through instructional orientations. Students are also given training through the college computer labs that are opened for walk-in usage. Staff members at LRC also provide orientations to students in the LRC commons, LRC 205, LRC 234 and Tutoring areas on how to use computers, printers and basic academic software. Additional computers located in the library which is available for students use and library personnel provide instructions to students on how to conduct research using library resources and database resources. The library offers six different information competency (one of the nine general education goals/SLOs that the college adopted in 2003) workshops during the day, evening, and on Saturdays. The workshops take place in either LRC room 205 or 234. The topics of the workshops are Research Strategies, Searching for Books, Locating Journal & Newspaper Articles, Internet I-The Basics, Internet II-Searching & Evaluation, and MLA Format. Each student is asked to complete an exercise at the end of each library workshop. These exercises are an attempt to measure whether the students can apply the skills learned in the workshop. The library also offers assignment specific orientations by request of instructors. The library always has a reference librarian on duty when the library is open. Students can get help with finding books, using the Internet or databases, or using Microsoft Office. Students also receive further training from their instructors on how to search the Internet, using Etudes, and email even the class is not a non-computer related class.


Providing training, workshops to faculty and staff is one of the most notable accomplishments in the past 4 years. The room usage is very limited at Mission College; the LRC becomes a hub of training and learning for faculty, staff and administrators. It acts as a faculty/staff development center where faculty and staff receive workshops and technical trainings such as using ftp to upload the web page, using Outlook web Access, design their own web pages, Word, Excel, Access, and college web applications. With District specialists, the college conducted several training sections to provide on campus training and retraining for administrative assistants and department chairs with the use of District applications. These training sections included Protocol trainings, SAP trainings and Business Warehouse trainings. To provide support and increase the interest of faculty in distance learning, the Distance Learning Coordinator cooperated with the director of ITV program putting together the plans of training for trainers, training for faculty and proposing the stipend for on-line teaching. In additional to the actual classroom training, staff development coordinator frequently emails to all users the self-pace Microsoft on-line trainings and other subjects that benefit employees.


To encourage students, staff and faculty engage in the technology, the college had purchased an unlimited package at the Tech Education 2006 at Pasadena College. To provide support desktop users, hardware, software, network application and Microsoft server environment, the college also purchased a one-year package at New-Horizons training providing technical training for all Information Technology staff. The training will enhance technical skill in many services such as email services, database services, student application services, web services, and new hardware.


Self Evaluation:


Staff and faculty alike will function effectively in their workplaces if they know how to access to technology comfortably. While all full time faculty and staff have computers, printers and assess to the Internet, the need for a staff and faculty development center is also necessary. Currently, workshops have been scheduled to use student teaching classrooms in LRC 234 or LRC 205. Scheduling workshops become limited due to conflict room usages and software. Encouraging faculty and staff to use technology without training is a major issue that the college should address. The college would like to improve in providing the technology training for faculty and staff by offering the workshops at times more convenient and less conflict with LRC classes. To increase the training, Staff and Faculty development coordinator and IT department are current working together to propose the location and finding funds to purchase equipments such as computers, smart white board, document camera, scanners, LCD and all necessary equipments to assist teaching and learning using technology.


The college is going to setup a few workstations with Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) practice exams. This will assist all classified taking a pre tests before the real MOS exam. Staffs have a chance to improve their skills and receive a stipend if they are MOS certified.


c. The institution systematically plans, acquires, maintains, and upgrades or replaces technology infrastructure and equipment to meet institutional needs.


Descriptive Summary:


The network infrastructure at Mission college is maintained by Information Technology staff housed in the low level of the Library and Learning Resource Center building. The IT department is responsible for network computing, Web technology, audio/videos, telecommunication services and equipments for student, staff and faculty. The college IT staffs coordinates with the District IT staff to configure and design the Wide Are Network to ensure the security and integrity of the network especially the connectivity from college to District and among colleges within the District. The network infrastructure is viewed as a part of District network. Thus, most of the Wide Area Network equipments are purchased and configured from a holistic system approach. District IT technology is responsible for maintaining routers and firewall. The firmware of these equipments is upgraded frequently. Internet access is maintained by CENIC site. In November 2004, College coordinated with Verizon, CENIC and District Office to plan and install the broadband service (T3) project.


Currently, IT department consists of one IT Manager, 3 Computer Network support specialists, 3 Assistant Computer Network Support Specialists, 1 Media specialist and one temporary Multimedia developer. IT department provides day to day support from desktop users to network applications; maintain computers, printers, servers, switches, PBX system, all audio-visual equipments and the Learning Resource Center computer labs.


Technology at the college has changed significantly. Four years ago, the campus backbone was based on 10Mb hubs and category three wiring. In 2002, 50% of wiring was updated to category 5 and 5e; most of 10Mb hubs were replaced with 100 Mb switches and fiber backbone. The College understands the need for a strong, dynamic infrastructure to ensure support for existing technology requirements and expandability for inevitable new technologies and campus expansion. With the recent passage of Bond measure, the college has analyzed existing campus infrastructure and proposed strategically plan for the future growth of the college. Campus wide infrastructure project is expected to start in the summer 2006. This project will rewire and upgrade all internet cable from category 3, 5 and 5e to category 6; replace old Extreme switches with new Cisco layer 3 technology switches. This acquisition of new equipments provides for future growth and expansion of services for the next five to seven years. Wireless hot spots will be installed in all student activity areas, and classrooms; improve the network security and bandwidth usage. The IT department is also working with the architects, consultants of most coming new projects to ensure that any technology plans are coordinated and at the current campus standards; these projects can be listed as follows:

Cyber café project will be the place where student can just relax and check email, surf the Internet or have some fun.

Campus services project will house most of student services such as Financial Aid office, EOPS, Admissions & Records and counseling office.

Multimedia Art building project provides more teaching classrooms and multimedia labs as the subject’s requirements.

PE and Fitness center project will bring the existing fitness and PE center from Foothill area to the main campus.


Video conferencing, Intranet portal services, wireless technologies, storage area network, etc … are now within reach. The college also had moved to Windows Active Directory by then end of 2005. This improves significantly the centralized network management and improves the security, and messaging systems on campus. The college also invests in Scheduling and Reporting System (SARS) to automate student appointments, and call for registration. This software also allows students to electronically schedule their academic advising and appointments. This project is expected to implement in summer 2006 and deploy in the fall 2006.


Self Evaluation:


Policies and procedures for maintaining technology need to be addressed. Computer lab usage policies, staff/faculty network access policies are also need to be recommended and established. Computer replacement for students, staff and faculty has not identified specific sources to support the three-year replacement model from state chancellor office. The college needs to develop a multiple year plan for technology purchases including hardware, software and servers both academic and administrative and prioritized the list of program and technology needs for the divisions and campus wide. However, identifying the resources to support the technology needs is always challenge.


The recently developing the inventory and priority lists of communication equipments are being used for decision making purposes. For example, the need of upgrade all switches, re-wire all cables, renovate the data center with uninterrupted power supply system and purchase the disaster recovery system. These listed items are critical to support the communication channels on campus. College technology will be evaluate each year to maintain and upgrade hardware and software to insure the state of the art learning, and working environments to students, faculty and staff. The evaluation can be assessed by campus survey.


Separation of administrative and academic networks are lacking at Mission network which has caused the security threat issues. Poor labeling and cabling management of the wiring systems have caused difficulty and time consuming for IT staff in troubleshooting and or fixing problems. Neither network documentation nor network diagrams had established. All servers were out of warranty and support caused the disruption of the use of computers in the LRC for few days in 2005 when one of servers had a dead power supply. Taking the advantage of the Bond measure funding, the new IT manager explores the options to insure the network security is improved, the labeling of wiring system is standardized, document all the change of campus network and upgrade all servers. The project will start to deploy by summer 2006.



d. The distribution and utilization of technology resources support the development, maintenance, and enhancement of its programs and services.


The acquisition of computer equipments falls to each division on campus. Acquisitions are coordinated through the IT department to make sure campus standards are met and maintained. The goal of refresh computer labs is a three-year cycle, this has been very difficult to fully implement due to budget limitation in the past few years. However, with the shared governance concept, administration, Campus Technology committee, Academic Senate committee, and Instructional Council committee had approved to use the block grand resource to upgrade the computers for students, staff and faculty. With this result, the college purchased 90 new computers to replace and add on to the LRC, the older computers are distributed to faculty and staff. The college IT department maintains an inventory database of voice and data communication equipments. This information provides reporting capabilities to assist in assessing equipment and decision making to purchase the new equipments for student computer labs and computers for faculty/staff.


Administrative computing issues, including student services and business activities, are decided upon and managed by the office manager, directors and the respective Vice Presidents. Most funds spent on student services computers are through federal funds or special funds such as EOP&S and financial aid offices. Administrative employees in areas are not associated with funding resources (payroll, personnel) typically end up with roll-down equipments.


Distance Learning programs at Mission College have evolved over the past five years. Current distant learning programs include an online learning implementation using Etudes course management software. Currently, distance education technology equipment and new version Etudes are discussed and defined in various levels of district and college committees. These committees are presented by distance coordinators, faculty and administrators of all colleges to define budget line-items.


The academic discipline computing labs on campus are self-supporting for technology related areas. The college has not adopted a plan to support Macintosh systems. Multimedia department provides their own support in multimedia labs included Macintosh. The computer science labs, the CAOT labs, engineering labs have their own instructional assistants to support the student labs.


The IT department has have a number of agreements and contract to upgrade software, hardware server support, MS products, Norton Anti Virus Enterprise, Brightmail to filter spam mail, third party software to support the student lab, tracking computer usage lab usage and student appointment, registration calling system. These services are provided by the college general funds and special funds. The basic infrastructure backbone is provided and maintained by District resources and hosted at college IT department. The new email administrative system and servers resources are provided by college general funds. The new wiring cabling systems and switches are provided by Prop AA funds.


Self Evaluation:


The college will continually access the contribution of technology to student services, faculty and staff services. The campus infrastructure included data lines, fiber optics, voice, video and network equipments continue to be updated. Once it is completed, the network will incorporate the newest technologies implemented by CISCO system. The network will have a full redundant core switches and will provide 99.9999% uptime. The power systems will be also in placed in the event of power loss. This will protect servers and core switches from power outage. The upgrade will provide students, staff and faculty with a reliable and sustained network infrastructure.


2. Technology planning is integrated with institutional planning. The institution systematically assesses the effective use of technology resources and uses the results of evaluation as the basis for improvement.

The technology committee is a shared governance committee and responsible for prioritizing and implementing the use of technology on campus. The committee part of the college council, the central planning committee at LAMC. Therefore, the decisions made by the committee are to sent to the college for approval. Unfortunately, there has been a lack of continued leadership at the college which has hampered overall progress at the college.


The college evaluates the replacement of technology in various ways. Inventories are made of equipment, and either sub committees are made to ensure that there is a fair and just evaluation and that new equipment is put in the right place. The college uses Webstar, which employees use to make work requests. After the Webstar request is sent, it is distributed to tech staff who fixes the issue. The typical response to a Webstar request at this point is 2 days. If tech staff sees that certain computers are constantly being reported as having issues, they are replaced or fixed.

The need for computers in labs is evaluated in different ways. For the LRC, this is a campus wide effort, but for CAOT, Multimedia, Engineering, Science and CIS labs, the evaluation is done by lab assistants and instructors who are familiar with their needs. We prioritize needs for technology by requiring and evaluating the requests, but there is not a formal manner for these requests to be sent or evaluated. This provides a poor evaluation and needs to be improved. In some ways we don’t do this well because there a weak connection between leadership on campus and everyone who works at the college, so there isn’t a real centralization of decision making at the college.

Currently, Computer Network Support Specialist review hardware/software for compatibility and feasibility. College adopts the computer standards from District Technology committee; College IT manager attends monthly DTC meeting to collaborate and align the college technology and District technology. District IT provides direction and support to campus technology initiatives. These efforts are coordinated by the Vice Chancellor at District office.


IT department is involved in the planning of new coming facilities and making sure that the network connectivity and technology services are the best for the college. The college has special prop A and AA funds for new buildings. All new buildings will have smart classrooms with technology in them. The current IT manager works with staff when they are working on developing special projects to make sure they coordinate them well with technology staff.


Self Evaluation:


The tech plan is not integrated with the educational master plan or the facilities master plan, and there is no strategically master plan for the college. One problem for the college’s technology is that the college does not consolidate technology from different areas on campus. While efforts are made to keep the campus up to date to the cutting edge, the efforts have not been coordinated. Procedures should be established to insure that all academic programs and services have appropriate equipments, necessary software, adequate training, and essential technical support personnel. This situation will be addressed through the Technology Management committee who are presented from different divisions. This committee will identify and recommend technology needs to the college and also to insure all technologies are fully supported.

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