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Wanted: used computers for college's computer repair and loaner program

07/06/2010
Used computers go to good use at Edmonds Community College. Donated computers give students in the college’s PC hardware and support classes much needed hands-on experience in computer repair as they train for jobs. Then, the college loans the refurbished machines to local nonprofits and its students provide ongoing maintenance.

“Our program provides the one thing that is very hard for a student to get — work experience,” said computer instructor Steve Higdon. “In my classes, students install, upgrade, maintain, and troubleshoot hardware components and repair and build computer systems and peripherals in a workshop. But we need more donations of used computers to keep it going.”

The college’s computer repair and loaner program, which has been running for five years, provides about 160 computers a year to nonprofit organizations — from Work Opportunities across the street to schools in South Africa.

Three ways to participate in the college’s computer repair and loaner program:

Donate your used computers, monitors, and peripheral devices. The college also provides low or no-cost repair of laptops and desktop computers to the community, including assistance with software installation and updates, virus removal, memory issues, and troubleshooting. Call 425.640.1333.

Use rebuilt computers at your nonprofit. The college will loan repaired computers to organizations and maintain them at no charge. As a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, the college can also offer operating system software at no cost. Call 425.640.1333.

Take a class. Earn the certificate. Students get hands-on training and experience in A+ Hardware Support I and II classes, Computer Information Systems 161 and 163. These classes can be taken individually or as part of a Desktop Support Specialist certificate, which provides working knowledge of software and hardware issues on personal computers. Other core classes include: Computer Fundamentals, Business Computing, Network Workstation, and PC Software Support. For more information, call the Computer Information Systems department at 425.640.1902, email cis@edcc.edu, or go to www.edcc.edu/cis. Watch a video about the program at www.edcc.edu/videos.

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