By Mark Stewart, Justin Haas, Jeremy Christie, and Seth Carroll
This study explores the long-term cost and benefits for the current Clemson University's laptop program and its students in the college of Architecture, Arts and Humanities for the next 15 to 20 years. The goal is to objectively inform the stakeholders of the program about its expected long-term effects on Clemson University, specifically the economic costs of the programs continuation versus the cost of not continuing the program. Some costs are obvious such as the cost of using wiring classrooms, but most long-term costs are not as clearly defined as the short-term costs. These hard to define costs are the ones incurred if the laptop program is not continued, such as lower paying jobs for graduates that are not technically apt. The rising costs of the program are mirrored by the rising costs in all areas of education.
The benefits are even harder to judge monetarily. Higher freshmen retention rates and average test scores and class rank of applicants are becoming apparent due to laptop-based programs.
The research for the long-term costs and benefits of the Clemson University Pilot Laptop Program was conducted by Mark Stewart, Justin Haas, Jeremy Christie, and Seth Carroll. Research was conducted, through a survey of Laptop students, at the Cooper Library, on the Internet and through interviews of various individuals that have direct connections to the Laptop Program.