What you pay for and what you get
There is a strong connection between the quality of technology services and the associated costs. There is also a wide variation in the ways campuses charge for these services. To evaluate the benefits you will receive and to compare costs, you’ll need answers to these questions.
Fees and expenses
What, if any, technology fee is charged by the campus? What does it cover?
Texas State charges a Computer Service Fee of $15 per semester credit hour. Income derived from this fee helps to fund a variety of technology initiatives that directly benefit you. Examples include: wireless access, servers and storage, BobcatMail e-mail and calendaring, Microsoft Office (through the Microsoft Student Select Program), and support services like our Information Technology Assistance Center (ITAC).
Will you be required to purchase your own computer?
Although some degree programs require the use of specially configured computers (e.g., Nursing), most disciplines have no such requirement. A large proportion of new students already own a computer when they arrive at Texas State and would incur additional cost if we were to specify a particular brand/model as a condition of attendance. Moreover, there are numerous unrestricted computing labs on campus, some of which are available around the clock. Please note that to receive support from our Information Technology Assistance Center (ITAC), your computer must be running a supported operating system and must be current with respect to vulnerability patches and anti-virus software.
Does the campus make computing and network access financially accessible? Is special student pricing offered for computers and peripheral equipment?
Residents of our campus residence halls are provided Internet access through ResNet, the portion of our university network devoted to meeting the needs of campus residents. The cost of this access is included in the room rental.
For students who wish to purchase a computer or related peripherals, special pricing is available through a variety of sources including the University Bookstore and online Dell and Apple storefronts. Texas State also makes Microsoft Office software available through the Microsoft Student Select Program which offers a perpetual use license at a greatly reduced cost.
Technical supportWhat hardware and software standards, if any, does the campus require, recommend, and/or support?
Texas State does not require any specific standards for student hardware or software. However to receive support from our Information Technology Assistance Center (ITAC), your computer must be running a vendor-supported operating system and must be current with respect to vulnerability patches and anti-virus software. Texas State also utilizes Microsoft Office software as its primary productivity suite and makes it available to all students through the Microsoft Student Select Program, which offers a perpetual use license at a greatly reduced cost.What kinds of support services (help desk, training, trouble-shooting) are provided by the campus, and when are they available?
Our Information Technology Assistance Center (ITAC) is available to assist you with desktop hardware and software problems, printer and peripheral equipment problems, NetID activations, password resets, voice and data network connectivity, virus/spyware infections, and a myriad of other issues. They also maintain and are continually expanding a rich set of online computer and Internet help resources designed to help you help yourself. Last but not least, Texas State provides hardware repair and support for a small fee.Does the campus have a plan for keeping its hardware and software current, and if so, what is the replacement cycle?
Texas State is proactive in keeping hardware and software current. We regularly review and refresh the software and hardware in our academic computing labs to ensure that the software available in them is consistent with the software currently in use in various university curricula. The software you need for your studies is almost always available to you in an academic computing lab. Replacement cycles are also in place for staff and faculty hardware and software. We want to ensure that Texas State staff and faculty have the hardware and software required to provide you with the kind of excellent learning opportunities you expect.If you bring your own computer to school, what kind of technical support can you expect from the campus?
Our Information Technology Assistance Center (ITAC) is available to assist you with desktop hardware and software problems, printer and peripheral equipment problems, NetID activations, password resets, voice and data network connectivity, virus/spyware infections, and a myriad of other issues. They also maintain and are continually expanding a rich set of online computer and Internet help resources designed to help you help yourself. Last but not least, Texas State provides hardware repair and support for a small fee.
How does the campus support printing for students, and is there a charge for this service?
Students are allowed to print in the general purpose academic computing labs on campus. While there is no charge for this service, printing is metered. Students may print twenty-five pages per print job, with a maximum of 2500 pages per semester. Departmental labs are funded separately and their operational policies vary. As a general rule, students may print at no charge in a departmental lab, if they are registered for a course in that department and have paid the appropriate lab fee. The Alkek Library also provides printing at no charge on the 2nd floor and in the 4th floor computer lab. A color printer/copier is available in the Alkek 4th floor lab, although there is a per page charge. There is a 75 page per print job limit on the Alkek 2nd floor and no per job limits in the Alkek 4th floor lab. There are no semester limits in either area.
Does the campus provide wireless network coverage? If so, how much of the campus has wireless connectivity?
Texas State provides both encrypted and unencrypted wireless connections to the campus network. Wireless coverage is campus-wide, both indoors and outdoors. Our wireless overview page provides the latest status on wireless network connectivity on campus. Students are strongly encouraged to use the encrypted wireless network when conducting confidential transactions over the Internet.
What security measures are provided by the institution’s IT department and what will be the student’s responsibility?
Texas State employs numerous strategies to protect its network and all systems connected to that network. The list is too lengthy for inclusion here, but examples include the following:
- Intrusion protection and e-mail (spam) filtering systems
- Network access control (computers must be up-to-date with operating system and anti-virus patches before gaining full network access)
- Enterprise-wide license for anti-virus software
- Ongoing programs for risk assessment, risk mitigation, network monitoring, and incident response
- Physical security and controlled access for its data centers
- Web transaction security standards (e.g., encrypted sessions)
- Background checks on new hires
- Security awareness programs (e.g., podcasts, sponsored campus-wide events)
- University-generated ID number in lieu of SSN as an identifier
- Up-to-date policies and best practice guidelines for managing and using Texas State’s information resources Students who utilize the network are expected to:
- Avail themselves of the tools provided by the university (e.g., anti-virus software at no additional cost)
- Comply with the university’s security and appropriate use policies
- Exercise caution and good judgment when revealing personal information via e-mail, blogs, social computing sites (e.g., Facebook), etc.
Does the campus include the cost of technical accessories in its technology fee, or are students required to purchase these items separately?
Texas State charges a Computer Service Fee to fund a variety of technology initiatives that directly benefit you. The fee is intended to support the technical infrastructure and related services needed by a large majority of students. Examples include: wireless access, servers and storage, BobcatMail e-mail and calendaring, Microsoft Office (through the Microsoft Student Select Program), and support services like our Information Technology Assistance Center.
Texas State recognizes that the needs of individual students vary considerably when it comes to the specific accessories they need for their academic pursuits. Consequently, the computer use fee does not include the cost of such technical accessories as flash drives, DVD media, personal media players, and printer cartridges. Open labs have no charge printing, metered to 25 pages per job and 2500 pages per semester. The Alkek Library does not charge for printing on the 2nd or 4th floors, but restricts printing to 75 pages per job on the 2nd floor.
Does the campus support the purchase and use of e-textbooks? Do the baseline hardware and software standards support this technology?
Texas State does not push e-textbooks at this time. Curriculum and pedagogical needs, determined by the faculty member, dictate their implementation in a given academic environment. Baseline hardware and software requirements on campus should be more than adequate to support any e-textbooks that are viewable on laptops or PCs.