Student Device Requirement - BYOD
Posted by Aaron Klein on 25 November 2013 08:23 AM

Bring Your Own Device!

Bridgewater College has a formal computer device policy called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). The current BC student already averages more than two Internet-connected devices, such as laptops and tablets, and this policy requires that all students bring their own device, provided it meets the specifications below, to campus.

For years students have been bringing their own computers to college, but only recently has technology allowed us to implement equipment that allows you to fully access college resources from your own personal device. With the tap of a finger or a click of the mouse, you will be able to access all of your network resources 24/7.  We have created a virtual computer lab that will allow you to access campus core software from any browser on any device at any time. The College provides Microsoft Office (PC and MAC) free of charge to all students.  (See details below if you have not already downloaded your software.)  In short, you will be more comfortable on your own device, with your applications and set up according to your preferences.

Please see the FAQs below for the details on this program. If you have any questions, please contact the IT Center HelpDesk, at or 540.828.5741.

 What should I look for in a device and what functionality should it have?

When selecting a new device, consider that it should last about three to four years before needing replacement.   Most devices on the market today will meet minimum specifications; however, a more detailed look at configurations can be found on the Help Desk Support Site

What devices will be acceptable?

A laptop, ultrabook, tablet* or an Apple MacBook are all options for your personal device. It must have a 10” minimum screen size, and tablets must have a Bluetooth keyboard.

NOTE: Google Chromebooks are not considered a laptop and should not be used as the students primary computing device.  Chromebooks do not have a full operating system and as such applications like Microsoft Office cannot be installed on them.

Will students be able to use iPads or other tablets?

Yes, but please understand that software cannot be installed on an iPad or other tablet, the file system cannot be directly accessed, and a tablet does not work for all uses and applications. Additionally, tablets are not acceptable as a primary computing device for many majors, including chemistry, biology, business administration, economics, communication studies, math, computer science and physics.   

Are smartphones considered acceptable devices?

Smartphones are not practical as primary computing devices for the normal course of work students will encounter, but can be used as supplemental devices.

Will students continue to have access to College computers?

College-owned computers will be available for lab purposes in the physical science departments, digital media classes, as well as in the library for the foreseeable future.  Computers in public labs such as McKinney 126, Bowman 208, Bowman 310, and other areas will begin to be removed or reduced to allow for flexible classroom uses.

Do the devices need to be new or can I use one my family or I already owns?

Devices may be either newly purchased or ones that you already own.

Can I use part of my financial aid award to purchase a device?

Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at if you want to use parent PLUS loan or private loan funds to help reimburse you for the purchase of a computer.

What is the expectation for charging equipment?

You should begin a routine of charging devices overnight to ensure a full charge. Of course, the devices may also be charged during the day as long as you have your power cord adapter with you.

Where can I get technical support if the device is not working properly?

It will be the responsibility of each student to find repair options from an outside company – not the College. However, the College has partnered with an outside vendor to facilitate hardware repairs at a discounted rate. You will be able to drop your computer off at the Harrisonburg store, or the vendor will pick up/drop off computers in the IT Center once a week for repair.

The IT Center will continue to offer support on all network and Internet connectivity issues for all devices, as well as the scan and removal of viruses. The IT center will also reload a Windows operating system in the event it has been overcome by malware.

If your device is out for repairs, there will be a limited number of laptops, available on a first-come, first-served basis, which may be checked out from the library for a period of up to 10 days, so you can continue working until the repair is complete.

Additional Information:

  • As students, you can download Microsoft Office (PC and MAC) software.  Please refer to our Computer and Software Discount article for links to install Office on Windows, Mac and mobile platforms.
  • Virtual lab access: There are several articles providing information on how to connect to our virtual lab in our knowledgebase.
  • Be sure to install virus protection software. There are free virus protection suites that have received good reviews. Look on the HelpDesk Support Site for information. 
  • Please note students are responsible for all file backups. There are a number of reliable solutions that are free. See the HelpDesk Support site for additional information. Files can also be stored within a student’s 30GB Google Drive or 1TB Microsoft OneDrive.
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