Growth and Construction Keep DACC Computer Support Busy

ACANS News & Information Center

Growth and Construction Keep DACC Computer Support Busy

With the opening of new buildings and with new computer labs coming online, NMSU Doña Ana Community College (DACC) has been busy trying to fulfill the technological needs of its students.  Recently, Lori Allen, Director of Computer Support at DACC, sat down for an interview about the role of technology at DACC and what the future holds.

ACANS : What is the main focus of Computer Support?

LA : Our main focus is to provide the IT support needed for student, faculty, and administrative functions.  We install and maintain the PC’s, software, printers and projectors for DACC classrooms and offices.  Our department maintains 5 Novell file and print servers, a GroupWise email server, and several Windows servers providing SQL database services, web services, and an Active Directory environment.

ACANS : DACC has a unique relationship with NMSU.  How does this relationship affect what you’re able to accomplish?

LA : NMSU provides networking services, WebCT and Banner services, things that the whole university system uses.  Our main focus is infrastructure for the DACC campuses such as servers, networks, printers, the multi-media functions of a classroom, software, and, of course, computers.

ACANS : Doña Ana Community College has several satellite sites; does Computer Support perform the same functions and fulfill the same roles at these sites?

LA : Yes, we do.  We’re centralized at DACC, but we have eight satellite sites: East Mesa, Gadsden, Sunland Park, Chaparral, Deming, Hatch, White Sands, and the Mesquite Street Learning Center.  We coordinate resources – computers, printers, software – for all these sites, so that can become quite a handful in itself.  It’s a lot of work.

ACANS : How many open labs are available at DACC?

LA : We actually have four, one on each of the main campuses: Doña Ana, Gadsden, Sunland Park, and the East Mesa Campus.  Actually, East Mesa opened up another lab that just came online this fall as part of our East Mesa Phase II construction.  It’s primarily designed for computer drafting, digital graphics, and other creative media applications.  All together, we have about 1,000 student PCs and about 500 office PCs at our campuses.

ACANS : Does DACC offer degrees that could take more advantage of, or benefit more from, a lab like the new East Mesa lab and other creative media resources?

LA : Yes, computer technology, creative media technology, and drafting and design technology.  The computer technology and creative media programs are developing curriculum that will tie into the Creative Media Institute at NMSU.

ACANS : What would you say is the primary role of technology here at DACC?

LA : Technology is a tool that helps us teach students and support the administrative functions at DACC.

DACC's East Mesa CampusDACC’s East Mesa Campus

ACANS : What’s in store for Computer Support in the months and years ahead?

LA : We’re growing a lot.  Enrollment is growing, and it’s been a challenge to keep up with that, to meet the needs of these new students, and our existing students.  We currently have about 7,000 students enrolled, which is up 5.7% from this time last year.  Of those 7,000, about 4,000 are full time, an increase of 6.8%.  New buildings are also coming online all the time.  For instance, this summer we completed Phase II of our East Mesa campus, which added some drafting and creative media classrooms and resources.  Phases III and IV will provide a brand new building, as big as our first building at East Mesa, so we’ll have a lot more space.   We’ll move the general studies program, the library, and more open labs to these new buildings as they come online.  We’ll also be able to reallocate space as more buildings are completed.  So, all of this is keeping us pretty busy.

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