Division of Finance & Enterprise Services
Spotlight on the Computer Depot Clinic
When students are having computer problems, the Computer Depot Clinic (CDC) is the place to go to get one-on-one help. Begun in 2003 as a drop-in help service in Waterman, the CDC has since moved to the Davis Center and handles over 550 issues per month on average. During the first two weeks of the academic year, the CDC will help over 100 students per day. Employing student technicians to help computer users learn to resolve their own issues, the CDC plays a huge role in keeping students productive and connected.
Carol Caldwell-Edmonds joined the CDC
as manager in 2007 and has introduced several changes to improve CDC
service and increase capacity:
- Developing online training for student technicians to learn and maintain their technical skills
- Increasing staffing to meet the growing need for in-person assistance – particularly among first-year students
- Implementing Footprints to track and analyze the volume and types of issues the CDC was seeing
- Expanding an existing partnership with the Center for Technology, Essex to provide paid internships for qualified high school students
These changes were designed to transform the CDC into a “center of inquiry” that focuses on staff development and user education. The center of inquiry model fosters an active learning approach focusing on questioning, critical thinking, and problem-solving. It's associated with the idea of "involve me and I’ll understand." This fit well with the traditional ETS model of working with clients to show them how to resolve their own issues.
The CDC is staffed by approximately 30 student technicians along with four interns from the Center for Technology, Essex. They perform the work of seven FTEs at the cost of two to three FTEs at entry-level pay for full-time ETS information technology professionals. Caldwell-Edmonds notes that her biggest challenge is maintaining a balance between CDC productivity and the ability of the staff to succeed in both the workplace and the classroom. Caldwell-Edmonds said, “The CDC is a very busy place and making sure that students who are learning on the job are supported in ways that ensure quality customer support is difficult, but it’s also the best part of my job.”
Last modified July 30 2010 02:32 PM