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Posted: 1/08/21

TAMIU Laptop Loaner Program Bridges Critical Student Need During Pandemic

 

Student using computer
 

Sometimes, the distance between a dream and reality is a keystroke away. Add an ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic response and that distance can grow even greater.

This past Fall, when Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) determined that distance was compounded by students’ lack of home computer access, it created a no-cost laptop loaner program to bridge the  distance.

To date, over 265 students have keyed into TAMIU’s Laptop Loaner program, ensuring their access to technology…free of charge. 

Through the program, students can access a  Dell Latitude 3410 laptop with 14” display, camera and microphone.  It’s pre-loaded with software suitable for TAMIU classes and online and cloud connectivity. Available on a semester-long basis, they are subject to status checks. The initiative is funded by the TAMIU CARES program. For this coming Spring semester, distribution will begin Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.  The Spring semester begins Monday, Jan. 25.

Scheiby González Fisher,  executive director of the sponsoring Office of Outreach and Pre-College Programs, said reaction from students was overwhelmingly positive.

“For many, it was an instant relief. They knew that they’d have the access they needed. It affirmed our commitment to their success. These are challenging times for all students, and making sure that they have access to the tools they need to succeed is simply mission critical for TAMIU,” González Fisher concluded.

Andres Rivas-Martínez, a Multidisciplinary Studies major, said the loaner helped his entire family.

“It’s awesome because I didn’t have to wait for my brother or dad to finish with our family laptop,” he said.

José Meyo, a History major, said the laptop’s availability helped keep him focused, on task and in touch with his family.

“The loaner laptop program benefited me. I am able to do my work and assignments without having any trouble such as lagging when I am online with my professor. Also, this laptop has helped me keep in touch with my family back home by using the webcam!,” he noted.

To qualify, TAMIU applicants complete a simple online questionnaire, contract and acknowledgement.  They need to be current TAMIU students, enrolled in at least 6 credit hours, and be fully paid for the semester of enrollment to be eligible.

Online applications are available at go.tamiu.edu/laptop. Computers are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.  Contact the Office of Outreach and Pre-College Programs at 956.326.2720, email outreach@tamiu.edu , or visit offices in the Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center, room 138.

Registration for the Spring semester 2021 is now underway. Spring classes begin Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. Late registration continues through Friday, Jan. 29. Financial aid is available.  All University offices and the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library are open and providing all services. Masks are required and social distancing is practiced on campus.

laptop-1-alejandro-espinoza.jpg

TAMIU student Alejandro Espinoza picked up his laptop for the Fall semester as part of the University's Loaner Laptop Program.