The Wayne M. McGrath

High Technology Center

EAC Goes High Tech

The Wayne M. McGrath High Technology Center opened to students and faculty at the beginning of the Fall 2005 semester with some of the most advanced technology in the Southwest.

The best part of the High Tech Center, according to computer instructor Janice Lawhorn, is the level of technology available to the students. “Our teaching stations are some of the best aspects of the High Tech Center,” explained Lawhorn. “These state-of-the art systems are right up there with ASU.”

Indeed, the hub of each lab is a teaching station, giving the instructor the ability to access the Internet and satellite TV, a document camera and DVD/VCR that greatly enhances the learning experience. Each lab contains about 24 computer stations with flat panel displays.

In addition, the Center houses a Computer Commons area with 24 computer workstations available for registered business and computer students. These stations give students access to the wide variety of software used in their classes, from Quickbooks and Microsoft Office to Macromedia’s DreamWeaver.

Wireless Connectivity

The Center is also a wireless “hotspot” for EAC students with laptop computers wishing to access the Internet. The service is called EACStudentNet, and can be used by current students with laptop computers with an Ethernet network card.

For the past few years, Internet access for student-owned computers has only been accessible in the Residence Towers through wired network ports. Even then, students had to fill out and turn in a paper form and wait a few days for network connection to be activated.

With EacStudentNet, EAC’s Computer Services personnel have streamlined the process so there are no paper forms to fill out and students have all the information needed to be connected within 20 minutes.

“EacStudentNet isn’t your typical coffee house WiFi,” explained Thomas Thompson, EAC’s associate director of information resources. “We went the extra mile to make it more secure using multiple layers of authentication as well as dynamic distribution of encryption keys for student wireless connections.”

At this time, EacStudentNet is available via wired network ports in the Residence Towers and now wirelessly throughout the High Technology Center. As resources become available, the Computer Services Department plans additional areas of wired/wireless internet access for students on the Thatcher campus.

For more specific information about how to sign up or this free service and for computer hardware requirements, click here.

Certification Exams

A testing center in the High Tech Center is also used for certain certification examinations, such as the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification exams, administered by Computer Instructor Alice Irwin.

For information about these exams, contact Irwin at (928) 428-8383.

Boost your Computer Skills

The High Tech Center offers computer programs and courses to all interested prospective and current students. For community members who would like to take a class but haven’t been able to fit one into their busy schedules, EAC’s Computer Department offers a wide range of courses in the evening. Just some of the classes offered at the new High Technology Center are:

  • Computers for Beginners
  • Introduction to Computers
  • Introduction to Computer-Based Systems
  • Operating Systems
  • Internet
  • C# (computer programming language)
  • Hardware Service Technician (covering the hardware part of the A+ certification requirements)
  • Systems and Procedures
  • Microsoft Windows Server Administration

EAC’s five full-time computer faculty members each have offices in the Center and are ready to advise and help students navigate the world of computers at EAC.

For more information about EAC’s computer course offerings, call Janice Lawhorn at 428-8374.