New Technology Fee Will Be Added To Student Bills

Allissah Jerome
ajerome@css.edu

The new academic year will bring an increase in tuition and fees added to student bills. One of these new fees, a technology fee, will go towards digital infrastructure on campus and towards online course delivery.

According to an email sent out from Steve Lyons, vice president for student affairs, Susan Kerry, vice president for finance, and Xavier Knight, chief information officer, this fee will cost students an additional $66 per semester if they are enrolled in six or more credits. If the student is taking less than six credits per semester, this fee drops to $33.00 per semester.

This fee will be added in the hopes of improving network access, enhancing student computer labs, improving access to information and services available online and through mobile devices, and improving instructional technology. Although the revenue from the technology fee will be directed by information technology services, many departments throughout will be affected by this fee, according to Knight.

According to Knight, “Information technology services has two important roles at the college. The first one is really an operational role to support the operations of the college … things like HR and financing, things that are not seen much, but are required to run the business. The second part … it’s really supporting, with technology, teaching and learning, student services, and student retention, graduation and all the support areas for student progress.”

Knight said the tech fee will create a way to allow St. Scholastica to keep pace and better direct technology, while also allowing students and faculty to have a say in where the funds are directed.

St. Scholastica students have mixed opinions regarding the addition of the technology fee. Junior nursing student, Robbi Pearce said, “I am not a fan of this fee, I feel that I won’t benefit from this fee as much as someone who lives on campus.”

Senior mathematics major, Anthony Wojtysiak, has a much different opinion on the matter.

“In such a technological age, it is about time CSS started asking for a technology fee from students … I myself welcome this fee and cannot wait to see the great improvements that it could have throughout campus,” he said.

The new technology fee is meant to enhance various aspect of technology at St. Scholastica. One of these aspects is improving network access, both campus wide and specific to certain buildings on campus such as Scanlon and Kerst Halls.

“We are taking a look at any areas on campus, or even our extended campuses, that may not have the level of access that is appropriate,” Knight said. He said it would also support the entire community as far as bandwidth, which is growing on campus with all of the activities that individuals do within the network.

The technology fee is will also go towards the student computer labs.

“The one thing we would like to be in a position to do is to rotate the hardware on a quicker basis so that we can stay closer to industry
standards,” Xavier said. Also with this fee, St. Scholastica is hoping to improve the applications that students have access to and allow students to have access to the latest applications that are used in the industry such as those used for enterprise resource planning or customer work relationship management. The purpose of these changes is to stay current on technology to allow students to have a smoother transition from their education to the industry, Xavier added.

Online services are another area that is said to benefit from the addition of the technology fee.

“It really starts from everything from how we recruit our students to moving students through to alums and being able to provide all of these services that we have at The College online to allow smoother access and allow faculty and staff easier and smoother operation in interacting with students,” Xavier said.

Those who access St. Scholastica’s website on their mobile devices may see some changes as the technology fee takes effect. “What we would like to do in the future is basically have all of the capabilities that we provide online working through our mobile application,” Xavier said.

The final big change that this technology fee is hoping to provide is to improve instructional technology.

“The idea is really to provide the technology services that allow facility to have a smooth integration between online and in class. So, more lecture moving toward online allowing facility to spend more time with students on projects and interacting in the classroom,” Knight stated.

“Our goal with the overall structure change, with all of the fees was to make the impact on students the same as it was in previous years or less and at the same time shift the governance, to allow students to be engaged and having a voice in what they want to see,” Kerry said. “We want to allow for student involvement,” she added.