Mandatory laptops could become a reality

Brandon Van Meter

Brandon Van Meter

By 2010, SDSU freshmen may be required to purchase a mobile computer along with their textbooks.

During its Oct. 22 to 23 meeting in Rapid City, the Board of Regents will deliberate over the proposed plan.

Paul Turman, director of academic assessment for the South Dakota Board of Regents, estimates funding for infrastructure improvements could come from money saved in a proposed pay day change, by altering the payroll date to the first of the month.

“Based on the way we look at the pay day change transition,” said Turman, “it would save the system approximately $10.8 million.”

According to the implementation plan, the one-time cost for infrastructure is $10,992,891.

For part-time and other non-traditional students, a rental program will be researched to save costs.

“That’s a pretty expensive class if they only take one credit and have to buy a computer to meet these specifications,” said Turman.

Students with six or less credit hours, or part-time students, would fall into this category.

Some departments at SDSU have existing laptop programs on campus, including: Interior Design, Nursing, Biology/Microbiology, Landscape Architecture, Graphic Design and Mass Communications.

Details on specific computer models and specifications have not been approved.