Fifteen computers, outdated and no longer compatible with software or network services at Sterling College, gathered dust in a storage room this past winter. SC Vice President of Innovation and Technology Dr. Ken Brown typically held them for auction, gaining only a few dollars for scrap from the machines but instead hoped they could be of use to someone. Brown recalled an article he had read about inmates in a South Carolina prison being able to access online courses through a donated computer lab. "That donation had a real impact on the lives of those inmates," said Dr. Brown. "I hoped our outdated computers could be used in a similar way, so I contacted prisons in the area to see if this was a possibility."
One of his emails went to Warden Sam Cline at Hutchinson Correctional Facility. Cline is always intrigued by new opportunities for the inmates at HCF and was excited about the possibility of working with Sterling College. He and Dr. Brown shared ideas, and Brown was impressed by Cline's goals and vision. "He really cares about the men at HCF and wants to see them gain new behaviors and skills during their reform efforts," said Brown. "He was more than willing to make a space for a computer lab."
In March several members of Sterling College's Innovation and Technology department went to Hutchinson Correctional Facility to install 15 computers, a network laser printer, and a network file server with free shareware. The Sterling College Presidential Cabinet also approved the donation of some of Sterling College's online curriculum (modified) to the facility. Inmates will soon be abl