Transfer Center and MEC partner to bring students tech


Beau Sansom

Camera available for check-out.

Beau Sansom, Staff Reporter

The Multimodal Education Center (MEC) and Transfer Center partnered up for a workshop in Samuelson Hall 129 on Tuesday, Oct.18 to showcase the technological resources at the students’ disposal on campus as a part of CWU Transfer Week.

Transfer Week is when CWU raises awareness of the transfer student experience with a series of events and workshops. 

The workshop was held both in person and virtually in Samuelson Hall 129. MEC Director Chad Schone directed the workshop, touring students through the extensive technological resources provided by their tuition at their disposal during their time at CWU.

“In celebrating and building awareness of transfer students on our campus, we developed a series of workshops that are covering various facets of the student experience,” Transfer Center Director Megan McConnell said. “We specifically are thinking of our students who come from backgrounds where they may have some anxiety about mastering the technology that would be necessary to be successful in their classes [at home] or on campus.”

According to Schone, since the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has become more prominent in the student experience than before. The world may be returning to some semblance of normalcy, but the need for technology has remained strong

“Knowing how to approach new technology is a 21st century skill we assume, because you’re all digitally native,” Schone said. “Technology is a tool and if you don’t know what tools are appropriate for what situation then you’re at a disadvantage. That assumption is also an equity issue for me. Socioeconomic impacts of not being able to have your own device to do the work that is being required of you is an issue that we help with as much as we can.”

During the workshop Schone gave students a run-down of every type of technological tool students can access through the MEC. These tools ranged from laptops students can take home for convenient use, all the way up to 3D-printing and virtual reality equipment.

Virtual reality set available for use in MEC virtual reality lab. (Beau Sansom)
Virtual reality set available for check-out. (Beau Sansom)

“Having access to technology is super important,” Schone said. “The different workshops we offer and the 3D-printing and those kinds of services are important to people who need them. Not everyone’s going to need to 3D-print but I do want students who do need that to have a place to come.”

The MEC said they have done their best to ensure that any student who may have a need for technological resources will be able to access them in a manner as convenient as possible by offering a free check-out system.  

This system allows students access to laptops or other equipment for up to a week so long as they have an active connection card and return all equipment intact within the allotted time. 

Should students need their equipment longer, the MEC allows them to renew their checkout so long as another student isn’t waiting on that specific piece of equipment.

“Nowadays everything is online and you need to have a computer to do your homework,” fourth year computer science major and MEC student employee Long Thai said. “Sometimes stuff happens and you can’t find it anywhere or maybe you just want to work at home. We are the backup plan.” 

While Tuesday’s transfer workshop served to raise awareness of the resources provided, the MEC has taken further steps to ease the struggle of mastering these resources. 

“Mondays at the MEC” is an ongoing series of workshops that dives deeper into the specificities of the types of technological tools available to students. 

Unlike the Transfer Week workshop, these workshops take students on a step-by-step tutorial on how to work various pieces of technology and programs such as Illustrator, Photoshop and Blender. These workshops will also allow students supervised access to the labs available through the MEC such as the Virtual Reality Lab in Samuelson Hall 124.

“Every Monday during the quarter I or my student staff conduct a different workshop on a different technology,” Schone said. “They are available both in person or you can join us virtually. I have some standard ones that I give like photoshop and illustrator and podcasting, but we sometimes mix it up depending on what students want from us.”

Any students who missed out on Tuesday’s workshop will still have a chance to get any help they need with their technological needs at the MEC in Samuelson Hall. In addition to “Monday at the MEC” there is a series of workshops listed on the MEC CWU page.