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‘Most-Wired Survey Ranks College Fourth Among Two-Year Institutions


Pennsylvania College of Technology’s abundant computer resources have earned it a fourth-place ranking in its category in “America’s Most Wired Colleges 2000” − a national survey conducted by the online magazine “Yahoo! Internet Life.”

For the first time, all 3,631 accredited undergraduate two- and four-year institutions in the United States were invited to participate in the popular survey, now in its fourth year.

Penn College, which has 25 bachelor’s-degree offerings in addition to its many associate’s-degree and certificate programs, was included in the Two-Year Institutions list for the purposes of the survey. The survey was conducted in partnership with Peterson’s, a leading provider of education information, which collected the data via an on-line questionnaire.

“As Pennsylvania’s premier technical college, we were pleased to learn that our commitment to computer access for students has resulted in a high ranking for the “America’s Most Wired Colleges 2000″ survey,” said Penn College President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour. “With a computer-to-student ratio that is three times better than the national average, the College recognizes the value of computer proficiency in academic life and in the workplace that our graduates must enter.”

James E. Cunningham, Penn College’s associate dean for information technology, said the College’s computer, network and Internet resources are as important to students as its first-rate brick-and-mortar infrastructure.

“Penn College has a reputation for outstanding classroom, laboratory and support facilities,” Cunningham said. “We’ve worked very hard to upgrade our computer labs, campus network and Internet access to the same high level of quality. The Yahoo award validates what we’ve accomplished and will help us to let the world know what we have to offer here.”

Penn College ranked behind only State University of New York College of Agriculture & Technology, Morrisville; the University of Akron-Wayne College; and Florida Community College at Jacksonville on the Two-Year Institutions list, which honored 100 schools.

Taking top honors on the other 100-school lists were Carnegie Mellon University (Universities); Williams College, (Colleges); and the University of Minnesota, Crookston (Baccalaureate II Colleges).

The Universities list surveyed schools that offer graduate degrees and emphasize research. The Colleges list included schools that emphasize baccalaureate and undergraduate degrees. Less selective schools were assigned to the Baccalaureate II list.

In 1999, the “America’s Most Wired Colleges” pool included only four-year colleges and universities. Approximately 1,300 colleges and universities participated in the expanded 2000 survey. The Pennsylvania State University, of which Penn College is an affiliate, ranked 12th among the top 100 schools on the Universities list this year.

The judging criteria were separated into four categories: access and infrastructure, administrative services, general resources and student support.

The access and infrastructure category dealt with the percentages for recent computer purchases, high-speed Internet-wired classrooms and dormitories with computer labs. It also assessed wireless access and computer requirements for freshmen.

Administrative services looked at whether colleges offer electronic applications, on-line course registration, online drop-add capabilities, online course schedules and on-line transcripts.

General resources checked how much Web space is guaranteed to students, the amount of electronic library resources and network file space per student, and the availability of multiple e-mail accounts and free printing.

Student support determined the amount of technical support available to students, the type of equipment offered for the disabled and the availability of Internet-orientation sessions.

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