Los Angeles Mission College
13356 Eldridge Avenue • Sylmar, CA 91342 • 818.364.7600

NEWS RELEASE                                        

August 26, 2004

Big Upgrade at Mission College Learning Resource Center

By Eduardo Pardo

SYLMAR –  Sleeker…faster…modern.

Workers hook up new LRC computers

It sounds like an ad for running shoes or a new fitness center. But it aptly describes the new computers that Mission College students will find this semester in the Learning Resource Center.

Using state technology funds and block grants for instructional equipment, Mission College has replaced 72 of the computers in the Computer Commons. Brand new, Hewlett Packard 2.8 gigahertz CPU’s that have plenty of hard drive space, connected to black, 17-inch flat-panel monitors now adorn the tables in the commons.

Students who were often frustrated by the slowness of the computers last year, or a breakdown of the units, will be pleasantly surprised by the new computers, said Maury Pearl, interim dean of technology.

"The difference will be like night and day," he said. "Students are going to be able to access their information much more quickly, particularly in doing Internet research, and they’ll get faster response from the software."

Unlike the old computers, the new units have DVD ROM and CD rewriteable drives, plus floppy disk drives. Students will find the new drives particularly helpful because many of the textbooks that they purchase come with a CD version of the text. Now they’ll be able to access these versions and all other instructional programs that come on CD or DVD ROM.

"With these improvements, we’ve really entered the 21st century," said Dale Newman, LRC director. "We’re encouraging students to come in after class, try out the new computers, and do their homework or research right here."

Pearl said a number of instructional programs and tutorials have been downloaded on the new hard-drives, including, for example, an anatomy program, chemistry program, mathematics, dietary analysis, programs that address basic skills, and many more.

Only half of the computers in the commons have been replaced. But the other 72 have been upgraded with additional memory, making them faster than before. Another 44 new computers have been placed in the two teaching labs that adjoin the LRC commons – 30 in the the General Purpose Lab and 14 in the Reading Lab – plus six more for staff use, said Pearl.

"The computers that were in the LRC before were really past their useful lives," said the technology dean. "This is a step toward recapturing the technological edge in the district."