VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University has been recognized as one of University Business magazine’s Model of Efficiency universities after launching a program that maximizes the skills and productivity of student technicians in the Division of Information Technology.
VSU’s IT division employs student technicians to supplement the efforts of full-time staff. They work in approximately 50 classrooms and computer labs and oversee the use of nearly 1,500 desktop computers.
While assessing staffing issues a year ago, members of IT realized that some expectations of what students were supposed to do were, at times, left to individual departments. As a result, the workforce was not being leveraged in a consistent manner.
In response to the assessment, a program was developed and distributed through the university’s Blazeview system, which is powered by Desire2Learn. The program involves the upkeep of classroom and lab appearance, implementation of effective preventative maintenance procedures, support for IT technicians working on-site, and tracking and reporting of issues the students were both able to and unable to resolve themselves.
The pilot of the program was conducted with student technicians in Odum Library and the Langdale College of Business Administration. Changing scores noted throughout the pilot indicated that maintenance procedures were already in place in some areas and not in others, which established relevance for the program.
“I think the key to the success of this program was to not just set an expectation, but to also take an active role in ensuring that lab assistants had the training and resources necessary to meet it,” said Benjamin K. Li, IT Tier 1 services coordinator. “The program has already had a highly positive impact on the quality of the overall computer lab experience for our students due to the fact that it allows us to take more preemptive action. However, we hope to be able to continue to evolve and improve this program in the future.”