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UST Bolsters Student Success, Gives All Freshmen Microsoft Surface Go2 Laptops

Microsoft Go2 SurfaceAs part of our commitment to keep University of St. Thomas affordable and accessible, UST will supply all freshmen students with a Microsoft Surface Go2 tablet/laptop computer in the fall.

This unique device is transformable from a Windows laptop computer to a writing tablet to an e-reader for textbooks.

UST Responds to COVID-19 Student Hardships

“As the University continues to respond to the challenges of the COVID pandemic, it has become clear that many students have found it challenging to work from home,” Dr. James M. Monaghan, associate vice president of Academic Affairs and director of Online Education, said.

“From our student surveys, a large percentage of students shared computers with multiple family members and some did not have access to a computer at all. Many have difficulty accessing the Internet.

“In order to facilitate the most effective use of the online resources and classes provided by UST, this initiative will ensure that all freshmen have the tools that they need to access their classes,” Monaghan said.

UST also has a supply of Chromebooks to give to students who because of COVID-19 need technology support.

Monaghan Brings Wealth of Online Education Experience to UST

Monaghan, who joined the University in March, brings a wealth of experience to UST as an online learning expert. He joined UST this spring at a critical time when UST began to expand programming online. He recently served as associate provost at The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.

Student Focus Group Chooses Surface Laptop

In asking student focus groups their preferences for a device for all, and the options were an iPad, a Chromebook, a laptop or a Surface, the unanimous choice was the Surface, due to its great flexibility. The Surface weighs less than two pounds and can last up to 10 hours on its battery.

Devices Pre-Loaded with Helpful Links

UST will load the devices with links to the Blackboard learning management system, the Zoom videoconferencing application as well as the Microsoft Office suite. The University is also expanding the use of low cost and no cost electronic textbooks that are have easy access by the Surface devices.

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the University is responding to students' needs and providing innovative 21st century solutions to ensure that the quality of a UST education is unsurpassed,” Monaghan said.

The University of St. Thomas is Houston’s Catholic University. For more than 70 years, UST has graduated students into successful careers in medicine, education, business, public administration and more. As Houston grows, UST will continue to provide the strong leaders and skilled workers needed to meet those demands.