Policies and Procedures
A printable summary of all available technology, resources and policies
Incoming Student Guidelines
If you’re thinking of buying a new computer to bring to the University, it might help you to consider the following:
Do I need to purchase software?
The University offers Microsoft Office 365 to all students at no charge. Some programs within the Office 365 framework, such as MS Access, as well as some licensed programs used within the University, require the use of a Windows Operating system. If you choose to use a Macintosh computer, you may find it necessary to purchase a Windows processing environment (Parallel Desktop, VMware Fusion, VirtualBox, etc.) in order to have these programs run on the Macintosh hardware.
Do I need a Computer?
Western New England University suggests, but does not require students to own a computer. There are more than 300 computers available for student use in the labs and libraries on campus. So if the expenditure is a burden, it is possible to get along without having your own personal computer while you are a student here.
Windows or Mac?
The University computing environment is primarily Windows-based so if you are going to buy a computer for your studies, you’ll have an easier time if you purchase a computer that runs Microsoft Windows. If you have a relatively new Mac (Intel-based), your Mac will probably serve you fine in most majors, however you may find it necessary to purchase a Windows processing environment (Parallel Desktop, VMware Fusion, VirtualBox, etc.) in order to have some discipline specific Windows programs run on Macintosh hardware. In order to support this virtual environment you’ll want to ensure that your hardware has a minimum of 16G of RAM and that you have the skill set required to configure this virtual environment. Note that the College of Engineering and the College of Business strongly recommend a Windows device.
What is your intended area of study?
Even if you have not decided on a major, you might already know that you are likely to pursue an area of study that will require more computer use than others. For instance, Computer Science, Business Analytics and Information Management, and Engineering majors will probably want more processing speed and memory. Business students and Social Sciences students should also expect to spend quite a lot of time working on a computer. All students should be able to run the Microsoft Office Suite on their machines.
Some rules of thumb:
The University suggests that your computer has, at a minimum:
• Core i3 2.0 GHz processor
• 8GB of RAM
• 5GHz Wi-Fi
• 128GB hard drive or Solid State Drive
Chromebooks or iPads are not recommended as they do not meet minimum standards
Some students in majors such as computer science and engineering may want more processing speed and memory. More processing power will make your computer response time faster. Although the minimum is 8 GB of RAM, you might be more satisfied with 16GB. The amount of RAM affects the number of applications you can have open without reducing the computer’s response time. If you are buying a new computer, you should seriously consider an external drive for backups.
Will you use your computer for both academic and recreational purposes?
Many users will want to use their computers for recreational purposes as well as for academic applications. If you are a fan of gaming, you will want more processing power. Also, more RAM will give you more options when it comes to video, graphics, and music.
Laptop or Desktop?
Laptops tend to be more expensive but are considerably more convenient. Many students prefer the convenience of being able to take their computer with them. The OIT service desk offers support at no charge however they don’t make house calls, so if you feel this is a benefit you might take advantage of a laptop would be easier to carry over. If you are thinking about a laptop you might want to consider the weight of the computer, depending on what you are comfortable carrying. You should also be sure to purchase a locking kit to protect yourself from theft. Desktops can provide good computing power with a lower price tag.
Western New England University manages over 2000 desktop computers
Select the following links for more details related to desktop hardware and software management processes and policies: