Software Standards Policy

The Information Technology (IT) department maintains a list of Beloit College standard software. Suggestions for change are welcomed and should be directed to the Director of Information Technology.  IT evaluates this list periodically as college needs evolve and in response to technology and industry changes.

No institution has the resources to support the multitude of software choices on the market, and the college gains many advantages from defining a carefully selected list of software as college-wide standards including:

  • Improved data sharing and compatibility
    • Allows for optimal file sharing capabilities facilitating communication between individuals, departments, and groups across campus;
    • Provides a more consistent tool-set for college-owned computers, easing use and facilitating transferability;
    • Simplifies the sharing of data between applications (e.g. word processors, spreadsheets, databases);
  • Improved support
    • Permits IT staff to focus on depth of application knowledge rather than breadth of numerous applications, allowing for more proactive support in meeting current and future needs. In rare instances where particular combinations of standard software and hardware do not operate well together, IT will attempt to resolve the problems;
    • Builds community expertise and a wider support system for this software;
    • Permits more efficient and effective software installations. Software upgrades and installations can be automated and become more routine, rather than requiring a specialized process for each individual computer. This will result in more efficient service, improved user satisfaction, and greater consistency;
    • Vendor or manufacturer support is often bundled into the price we pay for supported product allowing IT to leverage community/manufacturer/vendor support in resolving operational issues;
  • Cost savings
    • Allows for significant savings through site licenses and volume discounts;
    • Offers additional savings through operational efficiencies and improved communication college-wide
  • Expedited licensing
    • Simplifies software license record-keeping through centralization of this responsibility in IT for many standard software applications loaded on college-owned computers, freeing the individual from separate record-keeping for these licenses.

Software Standards

Fully-supported software is generally in widespread use on the campus, it has been carefully evaluated to meet college needs, and is typically administered centrally for college-owned computers. IT provides installation, training, maintenance, troubleshooting, assistance with the integration of these applications with other fully-supported campus technology resources, and documentation, as appropriate.

The college provides full support for the more recent versions of the following software:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Adobe Reader
  • ArtSTOR Offline Image Viewer
  • Equitrac Print Assistant for both Mac and PC
  • Firefox
  • Google Apps for Education (GAE)
  • Google Chrome
  • Google Drive sync program for Mac and PC
  • Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge (current and immediate past version)
  • Jenzabar and Jenzabar-related applications
  • MacIntosh OS X (current and immediate past versions)
  • Microsoft Office (Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word) (current and immediate past version)
  • Moodle
  • Openvpn for PCs
  • Safari (Mac version)
  • Symantec Anti-Virus
  • Tunnelblik for Macs
  • Windows operating system (current and immediate past version)

IT welcomes an opportunity to consult with campus individuals and departments on software applications that could benefit from IT support to manage or administer. However, departments and individuals planning to use these more specialized applications should be prepared to address training, in-depth functionality, and troubleshooting through vendor and other support services.

Software applications that IT assists with administering include:

  • ArcGIS
  • ArcINFO
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Harmony Essentials
  • JMP (current version)
  • Mathematica (current version)
  • SPSS (current version)

Non-standard Software

The college’s standards do not cover all software that individuals or departments may need, and IT expects that non-standard software will be acquired and used for specialized purposes. While non-standard software does serve essential functions in some areas, it may also cost the institution more and can lead to compatibility and data sharing issues. IT may assist in installing non-standard software when requested; however, IT does not have the resources to provide additional support. Departments and individuals using non-standard software should be prepared to develop their own expertise and address support, compatibility, and training through vendors’ services and other means.

IT understands that many useful Google applications are available as add-ons and through Google Apps Marketplace.  However, any of these applications not officially approved for activation are classified as non-standard and not supported by IT. IT strongly discourages software downloads that require a Google Apps login and password to access information.  Any application that requires activation from the administrator, or domain, level will not be enabled. Any Google add-on application available for download may be installed at the discretion of the student, faculty or staff performing the download.  If a student, faculty or staff decides to install one of these applications on a college-owned computer, that person assumes responsibility for any possible security breach or issues with the college network.

Software on Personally-Owned Computers

Many of the college’s educational licensing agreements for software specifically limit installation to college-owned or controlled machines. Therefore, software purchased under these agreements may not be installed on personally-owned equipment. For questions about the college’s current licensing agreements and exceptions, please contact the Director of Information Technology.


Please contact IT Support with questions about the Standards or standard software. IT Support is available for consultation on accessing, translating, and migrating computer files from older programs and storage media to current college and industry standards.