Program seeks to upgrade technological resources across campus

Oswego State has suffered from significant budget cuts in the past few years and yet, has still maintained the most current technology available for students. How is this possible with the budget restraints? The Student Computing Access Program [SCAP], which is provided by SUNY, has made these technological advancements attainable.

In the 2009-2010 SCAP proposal, requests from 12 departments totaled $276,429. The SCAP grant is for $133,735, which means not all proposals will be approved. According to Susan Camp, chair of Faculty Assembly, the funding from SCAP has been reduced this year. However, Cynthia Clabough, chair of the art department could not be more grateful for the extra funding.

"It opens up new developments for the whole department," Clabough said.

The art department has requested digital studios for the classroom, which will allow students to work in new experimental modes. Students will be able to embrace technology hands on and stay updated with current technology they will work within future jobs. This request has been approved by the SCAP Committee, but must also be approved by the Faculty Assembly and then the president.

The technology department has requested that one-third of the computers in the electronic computer lab be replaced and update with the appropriate software needed to run those computers. The second proposal was to also replace three to six computers in other labs due to specific equipment. According to Judith Belt, chair of the technology department, these upgrades are vital for the program, because it has allowed the department’s computer system to stay very current.

"Because of how the economics are on campus and because of how the budget is, our academic equipment list took major cuts," Belt said. "The funding was just not there and it is because of this program that we are able to stay current."

According to Steven Shull, electronics specialist in the theater department, SCAP forces everyone to look at what the student’s needs are. "Students need to stay up with the latest technology and software for jobs," Shull said.

The theater department has requested the upgrade to computers that are available to theater majors, a large screen monitor to improve visuals and additional software seat licenses for students to build professional portfolios. The SCAP committee approved these proposals, but for the amount that is not covered by SCAP funding alternative funding was found. Shull was very appreciative toward the SCAP committee for taking the initiative to find other funding for the department.

Faculty Assembly will look at the approved proposals from the SCAP Committee and make their decision on what requests deserve funding. After this process, the SCAP proposals will need to be approved by the president and once approved, spending can begin. For those proposals that do receive funding from SCAP, there is alternative funding through the technology fee budget.

The goal of SCAP is to support technology purchases that are of direct academic benefit to the students. This program allows Oswego State to offer students the latest technology in order to develop experience with certain devices or software to prepare them for the work force. "This forges connections and makes students less resistant to new technology," Clabough said.