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

project description
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
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
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
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 continued7
Student Objectives (Continued)
  • Broaden students’ knowledge about working on “legacy systems”
  • Build soft skills through interaction with community-at-large
in the beginning
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
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
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
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
  • 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
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
Student Participation
  • First-time participation
  • Dependability
  • Planning
  • Primary incentive is work experience
project implementation
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
A Typical Day . . .
  • Held on a Saturday from 12:00noon until 4:00pm
  • First-come, first-served basis
  • Receptionist
a typical day continued
A Typical Day . . . continued
  • Problem analysis
  • Technician assignments
  • Initial diagnosis
  • Consult with instructor
  • Problem resolution
  • Sign-off approval by A+ certified technician
  • Client evaluation
typical problems
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
  • 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
Summary (continued)
  • Receptionist
    • Volunteers time
    • Manages paperwork
    • Entertains waiting clients
  • Security guards
  • Maintenance/Building Crew
  • Marcia Schenck – Department Head
  • Cyndi Bailey -- Receptionist
  • Terry Richburg -- Instructor
  • Lead Technicians:
contact information

June West