Leaders looking for student advice on plans to lower success barriers

Adam McDonald, Staff Writer

The Associated Student Government offered feedback on Friday to City College administrators who plan to make laptops more accessible, removing some barriers to success for students. 

“It’s very important the students are involved in this because student success is the core of what we do at City College,” said Dean Nevins, the interim executive director of the District Technology Committee (DTC). “You folks are a big part of letting us know what works and what doesn’t.” 

The senate discussed the implementation of a new long-term laptop checkout system with Nevins and the presence of educational barriers with Z Reisz, the senior director of Institutional Assessment and Research and Planning. 

According to the City College website, the DTC addresses IT-related programs, policies and governance. It currently supplies laptops that can be checked out for a semester at a time from the library. 

However, Nevins said they want to expand the initiative.

“We’d like to move towards a campus where every student has access to a laptop,” he said. 

To get a different perspective than that of an administrator or professor, Nevins went to the ASG. The senators offered suggestions for the project, such as allowing students to buy their laptops at the end of the checkout period and starting a payment plan for the purchases. 

“I think for a lot of students, it’s important for them to have their own device,” Student Trustee Lilli McKinney said.

The project is still nameless, but could come as soon as Fall 2021.

In the other presentation with Reisz, discussion centered around educational barriers faced by students. He is the co-chair of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) and presented the board with metrics showing the progression of various student types through City College. 

Each metric category was based on educational goals, and Reisz wanted the senators to give their opinion on its accuracy. 

The IEC attempts to smooth the educational experience. The officers arranged to submit a Google Form to Reisz, sharing their experiences with losing progress or falling off track in their education.  

“What we’re trying to look at and trying to understand is, where have students had difficulties?” Reisz said.

In a separate interview, ASG President Carson Mitchell said the senate has been involved with this work and will continue to.

Mitchell is the student government representative for the DTC and Commissioner of Events Anastasia Fenkner represents the ASG at the IEC meetings. 

Friday’s meeting came after the board submitted their proposal for CARES Act grant money to fund their stipends. Mitchell submitted the proposal for $75,000 per year on Wednesday, Feb. 24. The stipends would go into effect next fall, if the allocation is approved. 

The student senate set to reconvene on Friday, March 5.