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Student Technology Requirements

Welcome to CCA!

Digital literacy is essential to art and design education. CCA requires that incoming students own a laptop that meets the minimum system requirements for software used in the First-Year curriculum. This requirement will help ensure that all students have access to the college’s digital resources at home or on campus. As collaboration is a foundation of our curriculum, owning a laptop will promote communication and research, as well as making, in and out of the classroom. If a student has an intended major, they should refer to the Technology Requirements for Academic Programs page for specific requirements.

CARES Act funds may be available for students having difficulty meeting the minimum technology requirements for online learning. If you have technology questions or need help deciding what technology to purchase, please contact the Help Desk. For CARES Act or other Financial Aid questions, please contact the Financial Aid department.

Hardware Requirements

Minimum Requirement for First-Year Students for Fall 2020*

  • Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch, Retina display
    2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor
    16 GB RAM
    516 GB SSD storage
    Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
    AppleCare+ for Mac
    Purchase at CCA / Apple Online Store Bundles (Recommended System No. 1)

*Students who know their intended major should purchase the laptop recommended for their major.

External Drive Requirement

All CCA first-year students are required to own an external storage device for saving coursework and backups of digital work. When working with high-resolution image files, motion graphics, and video files, a great deal of data storage space is needed. The drive will continue to be a valuable resource as a backup drive or expanded storage drive after the completion of the first year of instruction.

  • External storage device:
    Connects via USB
    1 TB (Terabyte) minimum storage space
  • Recommended external storage devices:
    LaCie Mobile SSD High-Performance External Drive, purchase at CCA/Apple online store.

Software Requirements

CCA / Apple Education online store

We have partnered with Apple to offer laptops and peripherals that meet our technology requirements for all academic programs. Save on any Mac computer, iPad, Apple software, and select accessories by purchasing online through the CCA / Apple online store.

  • CCA faculty, staff, and students are eligible for educational pricing plus discounts on AppleCare and some MacBook Pro models.
  • To use the discount in person, visit an Apple Store with your current CCA ID.

What if my laptop doesn't meet the minimum requirement?

If you do not have a laptop that meets the requirements and are unable to purchase one, please complete this online form.

If you would like to request financial aid to purchase a laptop:

CARES Act funds or other CCA funds may be available to assist in purchasing technology needed for class.

The required costs of the Student Technology Program for incoming students are considered necessary educational expenses and as such may be eligible for various forms of financial aid. Students wishing to inquire about aid/loans to help cover the costs of their CCA Student Technology Requirement expenses are advised to complete a financial aid cost of attendance petition on the Financial Aid Forms page at