Roxbury Community College Creates RoxSTARS Program to Close Digital Divide

    Roxbury Community College (RCC) is making sure every college student at RCC has the technology to complete courses online through its new RoxSTARS: Scholars with Technology Achieving Results program.  All participating students who need laptops will receive them at no additional cost. New students who maintain full-time continuous enrollment will be gifted the laptop upon the completion of their degree or certificate. Hotspots are also being made available to students who need them. RCC’s IT office will provide instruction on how to use the laptops and will provide technical assistance to all students in need of additional support.

    “We knew we had to do something to help our students. Because of the community we serve, many of our students do not have reliable technology or internet at home,” says Andres Oroz, RCC Associate Vice President of Student Life. “Prior to COVID-19, many of our students came to campus to use our facilities, technology and free wi-fi to do their work.” More than 80 percent of students at RCC are Pell-eligible.

    Technology was a priority of Roxbury Community College from the start of the COVID-19 crisis. In the sudden rush to make more than 350 classes available online at a moment’s notice, the school distributed more than 100 laptops and made it possible for students to access courses on smartphones. The school also purchased and distributed 50 hotspots to increase student Wi-Fi access and worked with cell phone data providers to encourage them to increase data usage at no extra cost to students.

    RCC will offer a combination of online, virtual, hybrid and in-person classes for its students in the fall 2020 semester. All members of the RCC community must always wear a face covering or mask while on campus.  In-person classes will be held in spaces that allow instructors and students to remain six feet apart.  Anyone on campus will be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines. The guidelines include staying at least six feet from other people, avoiding shaking hands, avoiding gathering in groups, avoiding crowded places, and maintaining appropriate distance when studying or meeting in person.

    Despite the necessary changes due to COVID-19, RCC remains committed to its important mission of providing a cost-effective education and essential resources to students facing financial challenges. For more information on RoxSTARS, please visit the website.

    About Roxbury Community College:

    Founded in 1973, Roxbury Community College (RCC) is a comprehensive, multicultural, urban, student-centered, open-access community college. RCC offers associates degree and certificate programs, online courses, corporate and community education programs, and lifelong learning programs. For more information on Roxbury Community College, visit