Order a hoagie at WaWa using the touch screen, withdraw $20.00 from an automated teller machine (ATM), or verify the final grade your instructor reports at Community College of Philadelphia and you have used a computer. All of these tasks and countless others require the use of a computer. Computer usage permeates many aspects of our daily existence. An introductory course in computers, or demonstration of computer literacy by means of a skills assessment test, should be required of all incoming students at Community College of Philadelphia because computers have become an integral part of society and greatly increase the scope and availability of research resources.
Florida State University has a policy similar to the one proposed above. The "Computer Competency Courses" website recommends students fulfill the requirement early, ideally in their freshman year. Another school, The University of Oklahoma requires every student pass a computer proficiency examination for graduation (Bates).
Computer literacy encompasses basic computer theory, word processing, spreadsheets, internet browsing, security, and email at both of these institutions.
A very real concern comes to mind if such a course becomes a requirement. A certain subset of the students at Community College of Philadelphia does not own, nor can they afford to purchase a computer. This is actually not a problem. Community College of Philadelphia provides computer labs. Computer access is available to all Community College of Philadelphia students. Additionally computers are available free of charge at all the local branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
The "Behavioral Health/Human Services" website at Community College of Philadelphia states: "Students will become familiar with the use of the computer as a tool of their profession." This statement clearly is intended to convey the message that computer literacy is required to be a successful student in the Behavioral Health/Human Services...