Lone Star recently won a grant from the Gates Foundation.

With more than 95,000 full-credit and continuing education students for fall 2011, Lone Star College is the largest and fastest-growing community college system in Texas. Lone Star College is recognized globally for its student success and innovation, with faculty grants that encourage ed-tech innovation and international programs for students among its many achievements.

Shah Ardalan serves as the system’s chief information officer and recently was named chief executive officer of its newest college, LSC-University Park. Here, he describes the system’s ed-tech accomplishments and its keys to success.

How do you use technology to advance student learning?

Our mission is to increase access to affordable, high-quality education. We built a team to get us in the game and used technology to win the race—with a heavy investment in innovation.

We’ve standardized technology in classrooms across six colleges and their satellite centers, and more than 16,000 computers and laptops are on a lifecycle program based on industry best practices.

Mission-critical applications are running on a 93-percent virtualized, highly available (99.999%) infrastructure. Students enjoy virtualized desktops, full wireless coverage, and mobile applications. All of this has been implemented with a sharp focus on providing more support to students’ success.

e.Republic’s Center for Digital Education has named Lone Star College as the second-place winner in the large college category in its seventh annual Digital Community College Survey.

This award recognizes colleges that provide a high level of service to their faculty, students, and communities. It considers technology integration into college curriculum and campus life, distance education, technology training for faculty and students, campus security alerts, use of Web 2.0 social and collaborative capabilities, online tutoring and advising services, and mobile device use as key indicators of success.