Academic Support Facilities
Modern information technology resources are ubiquitous at Alma College. The centerpiece is a newly upgraded local area network, which features a fiber optic backbone that operates at gigabit speeds and switched Ethernet desktop connections that function up to 100 megabits per second. The network includes more than 2,200 data ports on campus, and allows Web-based access to network services from off campus. Each student in the residence halls has a port to which their own computer can be connected. A new addition to the campus network environment is the deployment of a wireless network in key academic and residential spaces.
All members of the campus community have access to network services such as the Internet, World Wide Web, dedicated file storage, personal Web page space and e-mail. The College also has access to Internet 2, the next generation of high capacity Internet research, information and communications resources. Alma College is one of a small number of liberal arts colleges that are part of the Internet 2 consortium.
Students are encouraged to bring their own computers to campus. In addition, the College provides these public computing facilities:
Olofsson Computer Classroom. Located in the Colina Wing of the library, this classroom provides 25 Microsoft/Intel workstations, equipped with a variety of general purpose and specialized software applications. These computers feature flat panel displays, high quality audio and video subsystems and support for multimedia applications.
Swanson Academic Center Digital Media Commons. This is a state-of-the-art facility for creating and producing multimedia materials. The laboratory has the most capable Apple and Intel multimedia computers, specialized media creation and editing software, scanners, specialized printers and other peripheral devices to create professional quality digital multimedia output of all kinds.
Swanson Academic Center Computer Classroom. A new, state-of-the-art reconfigurable classroom equipped with wireless-enabled laptop computers for technology intensive teaching and learning.
Swanson Academic Center Writing Classroom. A new facility equipped with wireless-enabled laptop computers used for the teaching of writing utilizing modern, technology oriented teaching practices.
Cyber Cafe. Located next to Joe's Place in the Tyler-Van Dusen Campus Center, the Cyber Cafe provides Intel workstations where students can access their e-mail accounts, the Internet and other network services in a relaxed atmosphere (with Starbucks coffee available). They also can plug in their own laptop computers at network ports.
Residence Halls. Each residence hall has computers for public use when access to one of the larger facilities is inconvenient. These devices offer the same network services and software available at other public computing facilities.
In addition to these public labs, the College has created specialized computer laboratories for 16 departments: a digital piano and music composition music lab; Unix lab; molecular structures lab utilizing silicon graphics workstations; digital graphic arts lab; and a variety of others, each designed to meet the specialized teaching and research needs of the faculty and students.
Network and computing resources for teaching, learning and administrative computing systems are supported by the Information Technology Department, located in the Herrick Foundation Computer Center in SAC. The Center includes a cluster of high-end Dell servers for administrative applications, file sharing and network print services; servers featuring Unix/Linux, Microsoft, and Apple OS X operating systems; and Hewlett-Packard networking devices.
Monteith Library Collection
The Monteith Library Collection, housed in the Kehrl Building, makes a full range of information services available to the Alma College Community. Its automated catalog and circulation systems provide access to holdings of more than 262,000 bound volumes, 70,000 e-books, 1,000 current periodicals, and more than 10,000 full-text scholarly journals on the Web. The Library also supplies access to materials in over 15,000 libraries through its membership in the Online Computer Library Center and its online interlibrary loan network.
The entire Alma College Library building contains a wireless network that covers every corner of the space. The Colina Library Wing opened for use in February 1996. During the summer of 2006 the Wing was renovated in order to expand its use for study and group interaction. The 80,000 additional volumes that were previously housed there were moved to the second level of the library, new furniture was added to the existing computer classroom, a second classroom was added and equipped with presentation technology, and three group-study rooms were built. The renovated Colina Wing also now includes a student-run cafe. A second renovation project during the summer of 2008 added four more group-study rooms.
Open 103 hours each week, the Library is staffed by professionally trained personnel and student assistants. It provides its users with formal and informal library research instruction, as well as Internet access to numerous information databases. In addition to its general and reference collections, the Library houses the Alma College Archives.