Students contribute IT support services to the community

College of Technology Computer Information Systems students in the Integrated Information Systems course are gaining hands on experience this semester by assisting area nonprofit organizations with information technology challenges. As part of their coursework, students formed teams to provide IT support and apply their knowledge to real life situations.

"Typically, non-profit organizations have limited budgets and technical expertise," said Dr. Nada Khatib, Instructional Assistant Professor. "I asked the students to reach out to organizations and help as many as possible in their own counties with IT challenges. By the end of the spring semester, we will have a number of great community service stories to tell."

Students are performing various tasks including computer setup, maintenance and repair; website development; software support; laptop refurbishment; training; and database support and administration.

A broad range of organizations are benefiting from the students' services including the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo; Comp-U-Dopt; Avon Products USA; Sigma Beta Rho-UH; Bradshaw Tree Services; Montrose Place Townhomes Owners' Association Inc.; First Assembly of God Book Club; and Wisconsin Veteran's Museum.

In addition to the students receiving valuable experience, their assistance has been greatly appreciated.

"We would like to thank the volunteers helping us implement two premier communications solutions for our Association and Membership," said Mary R. Newsome, Vice President of Montrose Place Townhomes Owners' Association.

Another volunteer team wrote several queries that allowed Wisconsin Veterans Memorial, a private 501(c) 3 entity that provides support for the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, to create information from its data, which assisted the museum's management to make informed decisions about its membership and fundraising campaigns.

"This experience gave us the opportunity to serve the community (in a national sense), and to further our own learning experience, said Charles E. Schuetz, a student in Dr. Nada Khatib's course.