The idea of free tech support provided to SPC students at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus Geek Bar was so successful last summer that the campus Student Government Association (SGA) decided to provide funds to pay student interns to keep up the good work.
Free tech support promotes student success
It is almost impossible to participate in education without a computer. And computers for non-techies can be challenging and frustrating. When a student is up against a deadline and their computer quits or slows down – it can keep them from passing the class.
The Geek Bar, providing free tech support to students who are experiencing issues with their computer, was piloted on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus last summer with a Technology Student Intern providing the needed expertise. Within a few weeks after opening, students were coming to the Geek Bar intern with virus issues, problems with software installation as well as questions about uploading and downloading documents.
Technology interns staff Geek Bar
The Geek Bar interns are getting hands-on training in customer service and at the same time, providing a valuable service that promotes student success. Each semester more than 35 talented College of Computer and Information Technology students seek internships as a part of their A.S. degree completion. This number has been steadily growing since 2010 when the program began. Currently all SPC technology A.S. Degree programs require a three credit hour (180 contact hour) end of program assessment. Learn more about SPC’s Student Internship opportunities.
The skill level and the demand for the students in the program is also growing among employers in Tampa Bay. Administration at SPC raised the question: How can the college benefit from the talent we are sending out into the community?
SGA funds Geek Bar
Once the concept was shared with the SGA, they immediately understood the benefits this service could be for students to be successful. They identified a budget and included it in their proposal for the 2016/2017 school year. It was approved and the initiative went from pilot project to a paid internship. CCIT Intern Alexander Uzzo was brought on as the resident geek on site for the fall term.
St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus Provost Jamelle Conner and Dr. Sharon Setterlind, Dean of the College of Computer and Information Technology, were on hand at the ribbon cutting along with more than 30 SPC students and staff. Students are using the service and are happy to have a go-to resource when they are experiencing troubles with their computers. Additionally, faculty now have a resource to suggest for students struggling with technology.
Located on the second floor of the Library, the Geek Bar offers free tech support on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is service is only available to SPC students with a valid student ID.
The Geek Bar has been so successful that other campuses are interested in providing students access to this valuable resource. SPC’s commitment to these types of initiatives is evidence of the college mission to promote student success.