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Free PC Clinic – A Practical Experience. Presented by June West, Instructor Computer Technology Department Director, Free PC Clinic Coffee Shop Manager Spartanburg Community College Spartanburg, SC. Project Description.

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Free PC Clinic – A Practical Experience

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Free PC Clinic –A Practical Experience


Presented by June West, InstructorComputer Technology DepartmentDirector, Free PC ClinicCoffee Shop ManagerSpartanburg Community CollegeSpartanburg, SC


Project Description

  • In 2004, a need was identified to provide experience for the students in the Computer Technology programs at SCC

  • Most students had no experience in the IT field

  • Willing to volunteer time to get experience


Goals of the Free PC Clinic

  • Two major goals developed

    • To provide students with practical, volunteer experience working on users’ computers

    • To provide a much-needed service to the community


Student Objectives

  • Build a foundation for troubleshooting PCs

  • Enhance that foundation by giving an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and skills

  • Build confidence in the student’s ability to perform tasks efficiently and effectively


Student Objectives (Continued)

  • Students learn first-hand how to diagnose and repair personal computers

  • Students learn the differences/similarities in working on desktops and laptops

  • Provide students exposure to the Macintosh environment

  • Challenge students with other technology devices


Student Objectives (Continued)

  • Broaden students’ knowledge about working on “legacy systems”

  • Build soft skills through interaction with community-at-large


In the beginning . . .

  • Initiated by a former faculty member

  • Students designed a logo

  • Students developed the slogan “We’ll work on your PC for free while we get our degree.”

Free PC Clinic T-Shirt


In the beginning . . . (continued)

  • Offered seven Saturdays during the academic year on one existing campus

  • Paperwork

  • Students attend on a voluntary basis

  • Totally free; no donations or payments

  • Held in an electronics lab

  • Limited troubleshooting tools

  • No internet access

  • Coordination among security, room scheduling, and maintenance


Today . . .

  • Moved to the hardware lab on Central Campus

  • Rotate among all three campuses

  • Donations graciously accepted

  • Large selection of troubleshooting tools


Management of Clinic

  • The SCC Technology Club

    • Monthly meetings

    • Upcoming PC Clinic setup/preparation

    • $5.00 dues almost covers cost of t-shirt

  • Other participants

    • At least one instructor

    • One Macintosh expert

    • At least one A+ certified technician

  • Graduates continue to participate


Financial Support

  • The department head provides minimal funds

    • Purchases supplies

    • Lunch for the student technicians

    • T-shirts for the participating students/instructors

  • Donations accepted

    • The donated funds have helped to purchase additional equipment, supplies, food and t-shirts


Marketing

  • Flyers distributed to all faculty and staff and posted on the bulletin boards

  • Most advertising comes by word of mouth

  • Expanded to advertise on other campuses

    • Cherokee County Campus, Gaffney, SC

      • Spotlighted the Clinic on the radio during halftime at the local football game

    • Tyger River Campus, Duncan, SC

      • First Clinic had four clients


Marketing (continued)

  • Clinic dates sent to multiple community calendars

  • Featured in several news releases to area newspapers

  • Featured on the local news

  • Appears on the local news channel website, along with the SCC website home page and the SCC Student Web Portal.

  • Invited to appear on The Bill Drake Show, one of the most-listened-to radio talk shows in our area


Student Participation

  • First-time participation

  • Dependability

  • Planning

  • Primary incentive is work experience


Project Implementation

  • College very supportive

  • Advertisements displayed on each of the three campuses

  • Dates set and rooms scheduled well in advance

  • Clinic supported by employees/students

  • Employees/students pass along information to family and friends


A Typical Day . . .

  • Held on a Saturday from 12:00noon until 4:00pm

  • First-come, first-served basis

  • Receptionist


A Typical Day . . . continued

  • Problem analysis

  • Technician assignments

  • Initial diagnosis

  • Consult with instructor

  • Problem resolution

  • Sign-off approval by A+ certified technician

  • Client evaluation


Students in Action


Typical Problems

  • About 85% of the problems related to viruses and spyware.

  • Slow-running computers due to a lapse of regular maintenance.

  • Non-functional machines

  • The Clinic provides CD that includes free software, along with instructions on how to maintain PC


Other issues -- Hardware

  • Hardware

    • Crashed hard drives

    • Non-functional devices

    • Internet access difficulties

  • The technician may suggest what the client needs to purchase; we do not provide any free hardware

  • The technician will replace the hardware item for the client and test it


Other Issues -- Software

  • Operating system failure

    • Client must have their own software available

    • We do not provide copies of any licensed software

    • We do not “crack” key codes to install software

  • Use the Recovery Console

  • Use of DOS commands

  • Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows XP, and Windows Vista

  • More issues arising with Vista


Benefits to Students

  • Ability to develop good customer service skills

  • Experience a wide variety of PC problems which increases their knowledge base

  • Learn to research the Internet for solutions to unknown issues


Benefits to Clients

  • Free computer service which might normally cost a minimum of $100

  • A free consultation on how to resolve minor issues in the future

  • Free tools to help them maintain their PC


Client Comments – A Sampling

  • Will most definitely come back if there is another PC Clinic

  • GOOD JOB! Thank you.

  • Great students!

  • I learned some things, because I had no clue about computers

  • Thank you for the service to the community. It is really a big savings!

  • Thank you for providing this service to the community. This clinic is a win/win for both myself and the technician.

  • Very courteous & knowledgeable


Reward for Hard Work!

  • Placed third in State Competition

  • 14 projects submitted from around the State

  • Two students attended recognition luncheon

  • Plaque awarded, along with $100 prize


Alex Peterson, PC Clinic Student


Summary

  • Hours and dedication commendable

    • Many students come to each and every Clinic; others come when they can

    • Rearrange work schedules; take time off without pay

    • Come early; leave late

    • Persistence and perseverance


Summary (continued)

  • Receptionist

    • Volunteers time

    • Manages paperwork

    • Entertains waiting clients

  • Security guards

  • Maintenance/Building Crew


Acknowledgements

  • Marcia Schenck – Department Head

  • Cyndi Bailey -- Receptionist

  • Terry Richburg -- Instructor

  • Lead Technicians:


CONTACT INFORMATION

June West

westj@sccsc.edu

864-592-4864


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