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Penn College Puts Replaced Computers to Good Use

By Mindy Johnston College Information & Community Relations Intern

When Pennsylvania College of Technology upgrades its inventory of personal computers periodically, schools and nonprofit organizations in the area often benefit.

Recently, the College donated used computers and accessories to six nonprofits: Lycoming County Career Consortium, Bishop Neumann High School, Immaculate Conception School, the Christian School at Cogan Station and the Williamsport YMCA. The Great Commission Schools in Altoona also will benefit.

Each donated computer comes with the CPU, monitor, keyboard and mouse. Some come with a computer projector, as well. Due to licensing issues, the hard drives on the computers must be erased, and it is up to the organizations that receive the donated units to pay for and install their own software.

Penn College has donated computers to nonprofits for the last three years. Each year, 300 to 400 of the approximately 2,000 computers on the campus are replaced. Many of the replaced computers get recycled into other College computer labs, or are used for spare parts. Approximately 50 to 75 are available for donation.

Penn College President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour reviews nonprofit organizations’ requests for computer donations. Thus far, the College has been able to accommodate the organizations’ requests, though some have had to wait until campus computers were being replaced.

The computers are replaced in two cycles every year. Faculty and staff computers are upgraded each spring; others are upgraded during the summer.

According to James E. Cunningham, chief technology officer, Penn College decides when and how to upgrade instructional-lab computers by working with the faculty and responding to curriculum needs. Because Penn College is a technology-based institution, and it’s important for student computer labs to be as up-to-date as possible, computers typically are replaced every three to four years, he said.

By donating used computers and accessories to local schools, Penn College aids younger students who wish to learn word processing and other computer applications. Cunningham said that, in many cases, these local organizations would not be able to afford new computers for these purposes. Giving youngsters the opportunity to learn these computer-based skills helps prepare them to succeed academically and can even help prepare them to go on to college one day, he added.

For more information about Penn College, call toll-free 1-800-367-9222, or visit on the Web.

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