Vela's View: Tech This Out

by Dr. Robert Vela 

Volume 1, Issue 4 - Fall 2016

Vela's View is a reoccurring column about the importance of education and higher learning.  Written from the perspective of Dr. Robert Vela, President of San Antonio College, it provides insight into the world of higher education and addresses topics related to education as a whole.  

Earlier this month, San Antonio College officially opened the SAC Tech Store, a new initiative to bring students (and our community) closer to emerging technology. The store makes San Antonio College the first community college in the state—and eighth in the nation— to become an Apple-authorized campus tech store.

Connected to the Tino & Millie Duran Welcome Center, the SAC Tech Store provides a sleek, fresh and hip environment for faculty, staff, students and community members to explore new technology and equip themselves with the necessary hardware for their educational/teaching needs.

A few years ago, we had the idea creating a one-stop shop for enrollment assistance. So, we created the Tino and Millie Duran Welcome Center which opened in May 2015. Then, I had the idea of creating this new kind of “technology” center. My vision was for the SAC Tech Store to serve as an extension of the Welcome Center, with the idea that we could draw in prospective students. I envisioned our students and their families visiting the Tino & Millie Duran Welcome Center to get enrollment assistance and staying to play with the fun “techy” toys. My vision is coming to life as we see folks doing just that!

The SAC Tech Store offers an array of HP, Dell and Apple products at a discounted educational rate for Alamo Colleges District students and employees (with a valid Alamo Colleges District ID, of course.) Members of the general public are able to purchase phone and computer accessories, take part in the on-going workshops and special events and get repair services.

Starting in January, the SAC Tech Store will begin offering repair services through the “Tech Rangers,” our certified computer technicians. The Office of Technology Services also offers an educational aspect at the SAC Tech Store by providing monthly workshops and special “appy” hours.

Whether you consider yourself a techy person or not, I invite you to stop by the SAC Tech Store to check it out in person, get a list of events, and see the SAC Innovation Gallery, a hands-on experience displaying state-of-the-art technology, such as micro drones, virtual reality headsets and a 3-D printer.

The SAC Tech Store is located on SAC’s campus, next to the Tino & Millie Duran Welcome Center, on the corner of N. Main and W. Park Ave. Or, you can visit us online at or find “SAC Tech Store” on Facebook.

Hope to see you on campus!

Hasta pronto, 

Dr. Robert Vela


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