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The COB Laptop program, required for all students taking COB courses, puts computer technology into the hands of students 24/7. The College of Business at Minnesota State Mankato is nationally recognized as offering a technologically advanced active learning environment and the laptop program is integral to that mission. But the program is about more than just great technology. It is about empowering students to become effective business professionals. The program prepares our students to make significant contributions to all organizations after graduation through their understanding of the essential role of digital information flows in the modern global economy, their knowledge and understanding of current business topics, and their skills in applying technology to solve business problems.
The program is designed to provide students with industry applications of information technology, thus making them better prepared and more marketable to prospective employers. Students further benefit by having 24-hour access to worldwide information services, from any location at any time, not just from a computer lab. With campus-wide wireless internet access, students are able to log on to the Internet from anywhere on campus, indoors and out. In class, students and instructors can utilize technology seamlessly without need for a computer lab, and students benefit from having all the software and data they need right on their own computers.
Taking classes in the College of Business (COB), whether you are a COB major or simply taking courses from the college at the 200 level or above, requires that you be a part of the laptop program. As such, you must have a program-approved laptop, complete the laptop fee form and pay the laptop program fee for each semester in which you take COB courses. These requirements are explained further below.
All students enrolled in COB courses are required to have a laptop that meets or exceeds the minimum specifications established by the college. The COB recognizes that the PC is the prevalent platform in the business community and, therefore, our program utilizes PC technology. The COB Laptop Program offers a specially configured laptop from Dell that students can purchase from the Campus Computer Store. An exceptional 3-year warranty is included in the price of this laptop and covers accidental damages in addition to the normal warranty provisions. Students can opt to purchase a fourth year basic warranty as well. Laptop standardization allows the COB to provide value to the students through negotiated purchase prices and terms, on-campus warranty service and quick repair times to ensure that students have a laptop for use at all times. Students purchasing this laptop receive full on-campus COB Laptop Program support.
Deep educational discounts are given for the COB laptop. Price comparisons of product attributes and installed software, historically, have shown this to be the most cost effective alternative available. A rental program is also available for students not wishing to purchase a laptop (link to information about rental program).
Each student is responsible for having a working, approved laptop at all times throughout the semester when enrolled in a COB course. Students purchasing or renting the COB laptop have access to on-campus warranty service with quick turnaround time and loaner computers to use while theirs are being serviced. Students choosing to use non-COB laptops must have their laptops inspected to ensure they meet minimum specifications. If the minimum standards are not met, students will be required to meet the minimums before COB software can be installed. These students are also responsible for the maintenance and repair of their machines and for finding an appropriate substitute laptop to use in their classes while their machines are being serviced. See a complete comparison of service options available for the COB laptop versus other laptops.
All students are required to pay a $125 fee for each semester they are enrolled in a COB course. This fee supports features of the laptop program that distinguish the COB as a preferred College of Business in the upper Midwest. The fee provides several advantages to students while they are enrolled in COB courses: software site licenses for SPSS and Microsoft products, site licenses for access to premier business databases including Mergent Online, ProQuest ABI Inform, Business Source Premier, RIA Checkpoint, DemographicsNow, Euromonitor International, Standard and Poor’s Research Insight, and online subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal and Business Week. In addition, the fee allows COB-enrolled students access to wireless COB printers with increased printing allowances over other students. See the link below for complete details of the uses of the program fees.
The COB continually reviews these fees and the expenditures associated with them to provide students with the best value possible. Our fees are much lower than those of other campus laptop programs. Each year the COB Technology Advisory Committee meets with the Minnesota State University, Mankato Student senate to share information about the Laptop Program and use of student fees. You can find the MSSA presentations here.
Students paying the $125 program fee have enhanced printing privileges. Eight printers located conveniently near College of Business classrooms are designated for COB students only. Students utilizing these printers will print at a reduced rate versus the rate charged on university-wide printers. MavPrint dollars will yield approximately 500 pages of printing on COB printers, but only 300 pages on university-wide printers. Printing costs on the COB printers are subsidized with the COB program fee, allowing COB students to get more for their MavPrint dollars than non-COB students. Additional pages can be purchased at the reduced rate using a student's MavCash account.
The College of Business, in its efforts to become "green," has adopted ebooks, programmed printers to print double-sided, and implemented page limits to avoid waste. The College has as its goal sustainability and cost control. It wishes to limit its footprint on the environment and encourages students to join in that effort.
Questions about the COB Laptop Program, existing laptops, printers, software, databases, or loaners? Please contact the COB Help Desk—Cathy Colby (firstname.lastname@example.org or 389-6920).