FLORENCE, S.C. (September 28, 2020) - Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) has loaned nearly 300 MiFi routers to its students in an effort to make higher education more accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These pocket-sized routers, also known as mobile hotspots, allow students with devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets to connect to FDTC’s network. MiFi routers allow students the ability to complete their coursework while following COVID-19 social distancing protocols.
“For many of our students, having access to free MiFi’s is a real game changer,” Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Marc David said. “Not only does it help increase student success, but it also helps close the digital divide in the Pee Dee region.”
FDTC’s effort is part of the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff’s (ORS) Online Learning Initiative to provide more learning opportunities to students whose higher education experience is being hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The internet is a gateway to education, knowledge, opportunity, and has changed the way students learn, seek employment, and engage with their communities in the 21st century,” said librarian, Linda Coe said. “Internet access is critical to our student’s educational success, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. The library is vital for student engagement and success and welcomes the opportunity to partner with IT and the FDTC Online Learning Initiative.”
FDTC student, Tina McKenzie thought she was going to have to drop out of college until she found out about the free mobile hotspot.
“I filled the application forms out, and within a few days was notified that I was approved and to come pick it up,” McKenzie said. “This device has helped me so much in just the one week I have had it. I have been able to stay on top of my classes, review my instructor's lectures and so much more. Being able to login and do assignments from home and after work has drastically improved my thoughts and determination to be successful. The programs that FDTC has been able to offer to me and all other students are truly heaven sent.”
FDTC Nursing student, Graham McKain says the MiFi is saving her money, because she didn’t have to invest in additional technology to complete her coursework.
“Before the pandemic, I was able to get by with just my phone’s data plan, but now that class has gone online, my data usage has increased to the point where it’s hard to afford,” McKain said.
“Thank you so much for doing this for us!”
Student, Monica Harper is overjoyed with her MiFi. She was using someone else’s internet to complete her coursework.
Harper said, “I just want to thank you so much for this hotspot. It has literally saved me! I was using someone else’s internet and now I don’t have to!”
FDTC Nursing student, Katherine MacDonald said, “I would like to extend a big thank you to those involved in the mobile hotspot availability. They are a big help to furthering my education!”
Fredric Brown, who is a student deployed in the National Guard, says that access to the MiFi router gave him more confidence in completing his higher education.
“It allows me to continue my education and while I’m deployed with the National Guard,” Brown said. “I now feel more confident about obtaining my degree. Thank you, FDTC!”
FDTC’s Wellman Incorporated Library that is located in the 200 Building on the Main Campus has nearly 350 MiFi units overall to loan. All students have to do is complete paperwork and then if they are approved, they can visit the library and pick up a MiFi router.
For more information about the MiFi program at FDTC, contact Linda Coe by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling her at 843-661-8034.
FDTC began its fall semester on Monday, August 24, and is delivering its courses through four formats: 100% Online, Synchronous Online, Face-to-Face and a Hybrid format.
You can learn more about FDTC and its course offerings by contacting the Office of Admissions at 843-661-8289 or visiting www.fdtc.edu.