Wepa, a $10,000 cloud printing solution rolled out for Fall 2019 in a low-profile launch with wide support and components installed across PCC’s three campuses, now has its first month’s operating results, and hopes to expand high-tech efficiency for current and graduating students.
“On the staff side we probably wouldn’t be on Wepa. But on the student side, they are piloting it now,” said Dean of Library, Learning Resources and Distance Education Leslie Tirapelle. “It seems to be okay so far. It’s one of those things where, if it actually is successful and catches on, then we would consider it for the library as well.”
In the past month, Wepa logged 20,000 prints.
“We expect those numbers to grow as students adapt to the system,” said Director of Technical Services Matthew Kiaman. “There will be a survey going out to students that have already used the new system.”
Still early in its operation, Wepa printing is not yet well-known around campus. The IT department has already posted the Wepa information on PCC’s website to inform students.
“As we expand the new service, we will continue to roll out a large information campaign to the student body,” Kiaman added.
Students print their documents primarily at the Shatford Library, for ten cents per page. Partially free printing also is an option at the Welcome Center, where the first ten pages print for free; a fee applies after ten pages.
Now comes Wepa with advanced user-friendliness, according to Kiaman.
The service allows students to print to new machines from a variety of wireless devices. Chromebook, other laptops, smartphones, and tablets are supported.
The payment system is easy and understandable, Kiaman added, with electronic and cash options. The $1 cash card allows students to refill its value anytime. Printing cost with Wepa remains ten cents per page.
“The new Wepa system makes it flexible for students to pick up their printed document anywhere,” Kiaman said.
There are eight new Wepa printers on the main campus, with units at the Rosemead and the CEC Foothill campuses. Additional Wepa kiosks will be added in the upcoming months.
“We have so many students who print here. It is really a backbone service of the library,” Tirapelle said. “With thousands of printouts a day, we need to make sure that whatever we bring in is tried and true. So we do need to make sure that it is functioning as anticipated before it is brought here, where it’s going to have a super heavy load.”
Lindsey Reed, coordinator at the Office of Student Life, is helping students get used to the new printing option.
“Students could swipe their student ID and enter their LancerPoint account,” Reed said. “I think the Wepa printers will make printing for students much more accessible and convenient.”
Representatives from across PCC participated in launching the new system. Learning Assistance Centers, Mathematics, and The Freeman Center for Career & Completion joined the English department, Student Affairs, Natural Sciences, the Academic Athletic Zone and Student Business Services in the piloting.
Thirty PCC staffers who will assist students with the machine were initially trained on the software, which prints double-sided, black and white, and color. During the launch, staff and faculty also pitched in to inform students of the Wepa printers close to their classes.
Wepa’s success elsewhere around Southern California is important for PCC. The system is used at UC Riverside, Azusa Pacific, Citrus College and CSU Dominguez Hills.
“Allowing PCC students to experience the same printing solution as other major universities (such as UCLA and USC) gives them the confidence to easily utilize resources when they transfer,” Kiaman said. “As technology needs change over time, our goal is to provide innovative solutions to meet student demand.”