PCs For People and Tri-C
Last year, in the Spring Semester of 2020, Tri-C partnered with an organization calledPCs for People to supply eligible students with computers to be able to take online classes. As you can probably guess, this program was in response to the pandemic. As classes shifted online, Tri-C wanted to make sure that all students had the resources they needed to continue their education and stay on track. To be able to take advantage of the program, students must meet the requirements of living in a household with an income 200% below the poverty level or be enrolled in a government assistance program. Federal Pell Grant recipients also qualify. Students can request computers as well as internet hotspots to be able to successfully complete classes during these strange and uncertain times.
To gain some insight on how the program is going, I spoke with Bevin Bowersmith, Ohio’s Director for PCs for People. She was able to provide some helpful updates on how well the program is doing and how it is aiding students in the Tri-C community.Since PCs for People partnered with Tri-C, Ms. Bowersmith says that nearly 400students have taken advantage of the opportunity. I asked Ms. Bowersmith for her perspective on the program if she thinks it’s valuable to the Tri-C community and in what ways. “Absolutely!” She told me. “Due to the pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in the need for students to access technology in order to stay connected and continue their education. PCs for People is able to provide low or no-cost access to technology to students in need, with ongoing technical support.
I also asked Ms. Bowersmith if she thought that more colleges should have programs similar to this one implemented, and she said “It would be great, but some colleges may not have the same resources as Tri-C had to connect students to technology with PCs for People.” Sounds like Tri-C is fortunate to have such a helpful partnership. Without this program, some of Tri-C’s students would probably be struggling with online learning. Programs like this one, especially at community colleges, are so important.Not only is Tri-C supporting their students, but they are also promoting more equal opportunities to resources that some students may not have access to otherwise
The PCs for People program is still up and running, Ms. Bowersmith said that “students can come directly to our store or online, information on qualifying for the program can be found here: https://www.pcsforpeople.org/eligibility/“.
I also inquired as to whether the program will still be accessible to students even when the pandemic is over, and Ms. Bowersmith stated that “If a student qualifies for PCs for People, then they can come to our store or purchase technology online at https://pcsrefurbished.com/.”
So keep them in mind even when the pandemic gets better. Here is the link to Tri-C’s information page on the PCs for People program as well: https://www.tri-c.edu/news-and-events/news/tri-c-working-with-pcs-for-people-to-provide.