Bakersfield College is launching a laptop loan program for students in need of them as the college has moved instruction online due to COVID-19.
The program comes as the college said it conducted a survey among students last month to determine the need for technology and found that one in 10 students do not have adequate off-campus internet access and nearly a quarter of students use their cell phone as their primary device in accessing their courses.
Through the new program, 500 Chromebooks will be handed out to students thanks to a donation from Greg and Mary Bynum.
“My heart goes out to those in our community who are struggling to make ends meet, including Bakersfield College students who are navigating so many difficulties in their lives,” Mary Bynum said. “BC has always been about uplifting our community, giving those in poverty, facing unemployment, or other challenges a vehicle to a better life. I am just happy that Greg and I are able to play a small part in supporting these students to complete their education and find jobs.”
BC said the Chromebooks will be equipped with the programs and services students need for online education, including the online learning management platform Canvas, virtual meeting app Zoom. and retention program Starfish.
“I am confident that this investment will equip those in our community with the tools necessary to engage as active members of our community and contribute to a vibrant economy once again,” Greg Bynum said.
President Sonya Christian thanked the Bynums for their support in creating the laptop loan program.
“The generosity of Greg and Mary Bynum will ensure our students stay on their educational path toward creating a better life for themselves, their families, and our communities,” she said. “This is the kind of hope our students need right now.”
Students will need to complete an online application to obtain a laptop. The application can be found at https://bit.ly/2Xl6RJB.