New computer lab guides students in the right direction

The Student Access Center, a new computer lab facility at Cosumnes River College, opened its doors to students this fall semester.

Two computer labs make up the SAC. The main computer lab is located in room L125 and the overflow computer lab is located in room L112. Trained SAC personnel are onsite and available to assist students with their online access needs.

The SAC “helps me figure out what I need to do as far as classes or how to enroll,” said human services major Brittney Murchison, 21. “It gives you a chance to reach your goal.”

You have access to your Student Educational Planner, financial aid information, BOG Fee Waiver, transcripts, EOPS and CalWORKs, Murchison said.

During the first week of school, the daily average number of students who used the SAC was between 375 and 400. As of Sept. 4, 1,700 students had utilized the SAC.

That correlates to a 10-day average of 170 students who used the SAC to either watch the online orientation webinar, complete financial aid documents, register for classes, pay for parking permits and registration fees or access other online services.

“For years, beyond even my tenure, there’s never been a spot for students to be able to go to where they were given adequate help and access,” said Julie Olson, student success and support specialist. “In years past, we would close the Assessment Center during the first two weeks of school” so students could use the AC computers to manage their online access needs.

But CRC has a campus of 15,000 students and growing so closing another department for a short duration was not adequately meeting the online access needs of the students said Olson.

With the implementation of the Student Success and Support Plan in 2014, it was determined that students needed an actual place to go where they could access online orientation, apply to CRC, add or drop classes, and print prerequisites, without having to close another department.

Music major Porschua Turner, 27, said the technology available in the SAC was “pretty good” and that the customer service is excellent.

“They’re constantly asking if you need anything,” Turner said. “They’re very knowledgeable. They helped me print a book list, look up open classes.”

Twenty-one-year-old welding major Victor Soto said he would have needed to talk with a counselor to pick classes and get more information about his major if the SAC was not available.