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Johnson C. Smith Included Among Yahoo!’s Top Wired Schools

Johnson C. Smith Included Among Yahoo!’s Top Wired SchoolsCHARLOTTE, N.C.
Officials at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., recently announced its inclusion in Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine’s Most Wired Small Colleges List. Last October, historically Black Tennessee State University garnered a place on the top 100 wired universities list for 2001. Months later, before the magazine closed its print edition in July, it named designees of the small college list which included Johnson C. Smith, making it the second HBCU to be included on a Yahoo! top wired list for 2001.  
“This distinction validates the intense commitment that the university has made to ensure that our students have access to the finest technical resources,” says John Norris, director of information technology at Johnson C. Smith. “This honor really helps to distinguish Johnson C. Smith University from many of its competitors.”
 JCSU was No. 49 out of 50 institutions on the small colleges list. Its score was based on grades in five categories: infrastructure, student resources, web portal, e-learning, tech support and wireless access. Johnson C. Smith scored a perfect A in the student resources and e-learning categories.
JCSU officials said the factors they believe enabled the North Carolina school to make  Yahoo!’s most wired list are as follows: 98 percent of the faculty are trained in applications of technology; the ratio of campus computers to students is 1-to-1; there are 2 network ports for every person; and JCSU has a student technology assistance program.
“JCSU began making strides toward becoming a wired university several years ago,” says Frank Parker, the school’s education technology director.
 In 1999, JCSU began a computing initiative in partnership with IBM to enhance teaching and learning by students, faculty and staff using mobile laptop computers. The program, known as IBM’s ThinkPad University initiative, was the first to be established at an HBCU.
While the classroom remains the central hub for learning and interacting with professors, the ThinkPad laptops give students the flexibility to do homework and research anywhere. The university’s residence halls, multimedia and electronic facilities, the James B. Duke Memorial Library and other academic facilities are outfitted with nearly 3,000 data ports for campus network access. Off-campus students connect to the school’s network by dialing in on a private, secured modem. Student services include Web-based academic course resources, access to an application server and technical support.
“We continue making efforts to prepare JCSU students to be competitive in this technological age. Our students leave Johnson C. Smith University as well-rounded scholars who are prepared to achieve on the national and global level in all areas,” says Dr. Dorothy Yancy, the president of JCSU. 

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