The pandemic has taken — and will continue to take— a heavy toll. Getting students oriented and helping them succeed will require innovative new approaches to student support.
What is ECE Cares?
ECE Cares is an umbrella program to capture initiatives aimed at strengthening student well-being and community building, as well as the infrastructure and technology support needed for academic success. Under the leadership of ECE Chair Arijit Raychowdhury, ECE Cares will be incorporated throughout the many levels of the School by reinforcing existing initiatives and creating new ones.
Pre-Finals Student Wellness Drop-In
The Pre-Finals Student Wellness Drop-In was created for undergraduate and graduate students to have a much-needed study break before semester finals. Students build their own care packages loaded with study supplies, snacks, and ECE swag — to prep for finals.
The first-ever Pre-Finals Student Wellness Drop-In took place before the spring semester finals in Spring 2022 & nearly 600 ECE undergraduate and graduate students attended. This event is organized by SFC and the ECE Student Advisory Council (SAC).
Infrastructure and Technology Support
A fundamental goal of ECE Cares is to alleviate the financial burden associated with attending college. According to data provided by the financial aid office, up to 40% of students in ECE courses are Pell Grant recipients within any single semester.
There are many additional costs students are required to fund outside of tuition, books, and room and board, including course supplies and equipment. Currently, in the pilot stage, ECE Cares’ first initiative to help curb equipment costs is the loaning of myDAQs. A myDAQ — which costs about $300 — is a portable data acquisition device that gives students the power to prototype systems and test circuits. It is utilized in ECE courses 2020, 2040, and 3710.
During the Spring 2022 semester, ECE was able to purchase 550 myDAQs from National Instruments. Students will be able to check out the myDAQs from the Georgia Tech Library starting in the fall semester. The program uniquely aids non-ECE majors, as many students within the College of Engineering are required (or elect) to take some myDAQ-required courses.
With the anticipated success of the loaner myDAQs, ECE Cares plans to set up a similar offering by purchasing 450 Mbed devices for students to loan. Combined, the programs will effectively eliminate more than $500 per ECE student on course equipment fees and will lower financial barriers for up to 4,000 students each semester across campus.
ECE Computer Loaner Program
ECE's Computer Loaner Program was established as part of the ECE Cares initiative to provide laptops to ECE students on a short-term basis. ECE students can use them if their computing equipment is being repaired.
The Dell laptops provided will run on Windows 10 and adhere to the minimum requirements found at https://sco.gatech.edu/hardware-requirements/
All devices are available for a short-term period and students are required to return them before the semester ends. This ensures that all students in need can receive a loaner promptly.
For students to qualify for the Computer Loaner program they must:
Be an enrolled student
Have a minimum of three units or one class
Provide supporting documentation that your personal laptop is being repaired
To request a device, please complete the ECE Computer Program request form and the ECE Equipment Loan Agreement and add Eve Cuero as the Equipment Lender. Once the form is submitted, you will receive an email with the instructions to pick up the loaner laptop.
For more information or any questions please contact
Eve Cuero at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ECE Discovery Studio
ECE 1100 (ECE Discovery Studio) is a required one-credit course for all students entering ECE, including first-years, transfers, dual enrollment students, and even change-of-majors! ECE Discovery Studio plays a significant role in preparing students for their time at Tech and ECE, academically and socially. Through ECE Discovery Studio, students can participate in the Peer Leader Fellowship to cultivate a culture of peer mentorship. The course is also a launchpad to introduce students to the resources and opportunities provided through ECE Cares.