Student SUCCESS THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
Student and Academic Technologies partners with faculty, staff and students to enable innovative instruction and student success.
Remote Software Keeps Learning Going
Launched by the Office of Student Computing Resources (OSCR) in late 2019, Virtual Computing Access Technology, or VCAT, allows students access to University software applications anytime, anywhere, not just in campus computer labs.
VCAT’s easy-to-use web browser interface enabled on-demand access to software when a global pandemic required students to learn remotely.
In fall 2020, OSCR added more software offerings to VCAT, partnering with colleges who had specific requests. This strategic addition of licensing dramatically increased the number of user sessions, as VCAT became a primary way students accessed specialized software for their classes.
In spring 2021, VCAT usage remained at the same high-level even when students returned to campus and visits to in-person OSCR labs increased. Bill Neumann, professor at Eller College of Management, explained, “With VCAT, all students have equal access to a powerful desktop environment regardless of their personal technology resources.”
Supporting University Commencement During an Unprecedented Year
Over 30 IT professionals across multiple CIO Division teams came together to support the University’s Presidential Events hosting of Commencement activities for the Class of 2021. A total of 16 in-person graduation ceremonies were held between May 11 and May 18 for graduates and their families, marking one of the largest celebrations in modern University of Arizona history. Smaller ceremonies were needed to account for COVID-19 physical distancing requirements and limited attendance/seating. CIO staff supported the onsite technical needs and livestreams for the ceremonies, with just under 65,000 users visiting the commencement website during the week.
“As an instructor of technology-focused classes, I consider that the benefits of the VCAT virtual lab have been no less than transformative for the campus community and speak to our core values of adaption, compassion and inclusion.”