Loras College is a Catholic liberal arts college that was founded in 1839. Located on a 65-acre campus in Dubuque, the college educates approximately 1,650 students a year. Loras is a laptop 1:1 campus, providing each full-time student with a laptop for academic and personal use (complete with software, wireless, and technical support). The laptops are replaced every two years, and are used for innovative classroom activities.
Loras is a technology-centered campus; to keep with this trend, the college wanted to launch its initial use of wireless on campus in 2000. They were looking for a company that could perform a site survey and provide wireless design and installation services. The college was also interested in migrating to new infrastructure software.
CEC performed a site survey at Hoffman Hall, which is the college’s original building. (It houses offices, St. Joseph's Auditorium, a radio station and TV studio, and St. Joseph’s Chapel.) Wireless was installed in that building in 2000, and installation then continued in academic buildings and common areas. CEC also implemented VoIP and a sound system for the college.
After partnering with CEC, Loras College now has:
- New infrastructure software, along with a complete network refresh and redesign, including an upgrade to core and edge switches.
- A secure, wireless campus that was established through site surveys.
- A life-cycle plan for its IT systems, identifying the equipment that will be replaced and when
- A VoIP phone system that runs on the college’s IT network.
- A redesigned website that makes information easy to find for existing students, and also helps with recruitment.
- Application development, including an online form that collects student information and cross references it with a matrix before it displays a value based on the students’ input.
- An upgraded sound system for the school’s football field that makes announcements clearer and events easier to follow.
CEC provides us with training so we can become more self-sufficient. We’ve learned to handle small projects on our own through the education they’ve provided. They understand our needs and budget constraints. CEC has become part of our IT department family … it’s like they’re one of us.