"What surprised and excited me the most was walking around
campus the first week of classes and seeing so many students with
their laptops open. We knew it was going to revolutionize things,
but students and faculty were doing more than we expected." - James
Benson, CIO and Dean, University Libraries
The success for a multi-dimensional program like this can be
measured in many ways:
The project team was able to successfully install and
launch the network and portal and distribute over 3,400 laptops to
students and faculty members across three campuses. In every
instance, the total process for laptop distribution (including two
informational seminars) was completed in less than 90 minutes.
Starting at an original appointment rate of 50 students per hour,
by the time the distribution was completed three weeks later, the
team had achieved a distribution rate of 200 laptops per hour,
without waiting lines.
- Media coverage
As the largest private university roll out of its kind, the St.
John’s ACI received significant media attention. Major national
public and private outlets reported the story via television news
broadcasts; radio; and magazine and newspaper articles.
The target audience of freshmen students and faculty
members embraced the innovation immediately. Follow-up studies
indicate that 95% of freshmen (vs. 83% of other students) have
logged on to St. John’s Central with 40% logging on five or more
times per week.
Faculty reports class participation far exceeding requirements.
"Students are no longer interested in doing the minimum. I require
two 200-word web postings a week in my class. But what I usually
get is eight to 10 postings. Students are eager to get online and
share in the discussion." - Barbara Signer, Professor of Early
Childhood and Adolescent Education.
"What I see in the classroom is a lot more seriousness, a lot more
students integrating their outside lives with their academic
lives."- Sharon Norton, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and
Public safety/security: The measures taken to provide education
about system safety and damage control have been a success. The
University’s laptop theft rate has been significantly lower than
industry norms. (Norms average 2-3% while St. John’s experienced an
annualized rate of less than 1% in just the first four months of
St. John’s enhanced its operations through the ACI by offering
students an enormous number of online functions. Students can
register for classes, pay bills, look up course information, get
their grades—almost every function they need, they can do online 24
/ 7. The student survey reports the following portal usage:
- 80% of students use the portal for administrative transactions
(ie. bill payment, class registration, etc.)
- 77% of students use it to obtain course information
The St. John’s ACI is an integral program for the
University’s future. Incoming freshmen will receive laptops and
upperclassmen are encouraged to participate in the program and may
purchase the same fully-equipped laptops at steep discounts. By
2006, St. John’s will have achieved a level playing field with 100%