Wherever you go to school and whatever you choose as a major or future career, you’ll be using computers and other information technologies. It makes sense to check out the technology environment at the schools you’re considering along with other factors that will influence your choice.
• How will you be using technology—in your degree program, in particular classes, in labs, in teams, in field work, and where you live?
Computer and information technology is extensively used throughout Texas State’s varied curricula. Almost all of our courses use TRACS to provide information, present syllabi, act as a forum for interaction, and provide course management. Some courses even test online. Most students will need to use current word processing, spreadsheet or presentation programs, such as those provided through Microsoft Office and the Microsoft Student Select Program, to prepare assignments and papers. In some classes, these assignments may be submitted electronically through TRACS.
Some courses have specialized technologies and even unique laboratories in which you will be able to use state of the art programs and equipment. For example, in a video journalism course you may be require to use a digital video editing system available in the departmental lab. A design course may require you to prepare a project using a computer aided design program available in a different departmental lab. If you want to engage with sound and recording technology, Texas State offers a baccalaureate degree in sound recording and owns an active commercial studio, the Fire Station, which will allow you an opportunity to learn your craft in a professional setting.
• Should you buy a computer or use those provided on campus?
The answer varies depending upon your individual needs and circumstances. Most students come to campus already owning a computer, but that is not a requirement for success. There are numerous unrestricted computing labs on campus, and a large number of computer systems in the Alkek Library, all of which are open for use by all students. They have productivity software from Microsoft as well as high speed Internet capability. There are also numerous department-specific labs with specialty software. Students are able to complete their degree programs without a personal computer, but generally sacrifice some convenience.
If you don’t already own a computer but are considering a purchase, you might find it valuable to utilize the on-campus resources while you deliberate. Considerations include your major program of study, the amount of time spent on campus (and where), and the potential for savings through special university pricing available through the University Bookstore and online Dell and Apple storefronts.