Various electronic devices varying from desktops to mobiles showing the login page for the Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus at the CC 218 on Wedensday, October 29, 2014. The Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus is available to download and install on up to 5 PCs or Macs or iPad 5 or Windows tablets to PCC students. (Nagisa Mihara/Courier)

Various electronic devices varying from desktops to mobiles showing the login page for the Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus at the CC 218 on Wedensday, October 29, 2014. The Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus is available to download and install on up to 5 PCs or Macs or iPad 5 or Windows tablets to PCC students. (Nagisa Mihara/Courier)

As a result of an agreement between PCC and Microsoft, students are now enrolled in the Microsoft Student Advantage Program, which allows them to download and install Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus desktop applications for free

The program is offered to currently enrolled students and allows them to run Microsoft Office on up to five computers (Mac or PC) and up to five additional devices including smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The latest versions of Office are Office 2013 for Windows and Office 2011 for Mac.

“Just in time for finals, students can have free Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint for those upcoming class presentations and term papers,” said Dr. Shelley Gaskin, a professor in the Business and Computer Technology Department. “Hundreds of colleges around the country have this program, and now we have it too!”

Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus is an annual subscription and students will continue to have access as long as they are enrolled and have an active LancerPoint email address. IT support services manager Todd Hampton and systems administrator Rob Tirapelle developed the process so that students are able to access the free downloads by logging in using their LancerPoint email and password.

“This software is much more powerful and full-featured than the expensive Microsoft Home and Student edition, which sells for $130 at stores like Staples and BestBuy,” Gaskin said.

For students who are on a budget due to the high costs of tuition and supplies that are necessary for their course, this program helps them save a little more money. Student Diana Pinto, music, is one of them and looking forward to the free program.

“To a certain degree, I think that the tools for education should be free. Education is already expensive enough and so if the school can help out, there’s no reason to gut students to have this type of software,” said Pinto. “It’s something I need for school but that doesn’t mean I can afford it, that doesn’t make the money any more there so I think it’s nice.”

Aside from being able to use the software to complete academic work, students will also be able to learn the software for employment.

“Employers are looking for candidates that have 20 specific skills for high-growth, high-wage occupations,” a 2013 study by the International Data Corporation (IDC) states. “Coming in at number 3 on this list is proficiency with Microsoft Office and PowerPoint, and Word specifically highlighted at number 11 and number 13 on the list. In fact, Microsoft skills were sought after five times more than any other productivity tools.”

The Microsoft Advantage Program started a year ago this month and since then, it has become available to more than 35,000 educational institutions worldwide.

To start your download, go to http://login.microsoftonline.com and sign in with your LancerPoint email address and password, including the @go.pasadena.edu. Then click Install. You may also find the link here.

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