Students Service Learning Project Benefits Humble's Family Time

HOUSTON (June 3, 2009) – Family Time Crisis and Counseling Center, a local organization dedicated to helping victims of abuse, recently received three new computers courtesy of LSC-Kingwood.

Mario Berry, director of campus/system technology services and adjunct faculty at LSC-Kingwood, delivered and set up the computers and says students from two of his classes were involved in this project. 

Students in Intro to PC Operating Systems (ITSC 1405) dealt mainly with the software side of the project and then students in PC Hardware (ITSC 1425) completed the computers by putting all the hardware together.

Students had to work together, employing all of their developing skills and knowledge to create systems that would fit the needs of Family Time volunteers and clients.  After visiting Family Time to perform a systems analysis, students shopped around to produce a cost analysis, developed the system, and then did trouble shooting, an important part of their instruction, says Berry.  Cumulatively the students spent 80 hours working on the computers.

Elizabeth Chapman, Dean of Instruction, said, “This was a real win-win situation.  LSC-Kingwood has always been involved in the community and we look for worthwhile causes like this one.  The students learn to assemble computers and Family Time is the happy recipient.”

Chapman says most of these students are not the young, 18 and 19 year-olds, but students back in school, retraining for careers.  She said one of the students she spoke with expressed thanks for being involved in this project because it made him feel good and more connected to the community. 

Monica Hains, ITS Coordinator at Family Time, says it’s important to the organization to get new technology for the office and shelter.   “We depend a lot on technology to assist us with scheduling clients for counseling appointments, and to look up referrals for services we may not necessarily be able to offer.  We do a lot of translation services for Spanish speaking clients for court purposes and then we also use the computers at our shelter where residents use them to write up resumes, look for job or employment leads and educational purposes as well.”

Berrysays each of his classes over the past two and a half years have performed service learning.  “Our question is always, what can we do from a technology standpoint to help the community and others who need assistance from us?”

Berry will teach two classes in the fall, Introduction to PC Operating Systems (ITSC 1405) and PC Hardware(ITSC 1425).  These classes are both 8-week flex, with online and face to face aspects.   Both classes prepare students for the CompTIA A+ certification.  This certification prepares students for careers as PC Technicians, Help Desk Technicians, and can lead to positions as Network Administrators or Network Engineers.

LSC-Kingwood offers programs designed for the first time computer user, high school graduate, and professionals seeking cross training or skills updating.  Students can choose from A+ and Net+ preparation courses, programming degrees that transfer to four year institutions and office application courses that prepare for the Microsoft Office certification exams, Cisco and Microsoft classes.