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Mobile Computing

New CSU Student Success Initiative to Provide iPad Air to 35,000 Incoming Students

In its largest ever device distribution, California State University is offering an iPad Air, Apple Pencil and Apple Smart Keyboard Folio to up to 35,000 first-year and new transfer students at eight campuses this fall. The deployment kicks off the first phase of the university system's new CSUCCESS initiative (California State University Connectivity Contributing to Equity and Student Success), an effort to "enhance student achievement and create more equitable opportunities for the CSU community by providing industry-leading technology," according to a news announcement.

"CSUCCESS will assure that students have immediate access to innovative, new mobile tools they need to support their learning, particularly when faced with the lingering effects of the pandemic," explained CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro, in a statement. "The new initiative will establish a foundation for their achievement and has the potential to play a key role in eliminating stubborn equity gaps among our talented and diverse students. In addition to truly addressing equity and access, we see iPad Air as a powerful tool to prepare our students for their future careers."

The university noted that students will be able to use the devices to participate in virtual learning environments, as some fall courses will be offered online due to the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In that way, CSUCCESS builds on the institution's previous efforts to bridge the digital divide: During the spring and fall 2020 terms, CSU campuses distributed more than 21,000 laptops and tablets and 10,000 mobile WiFi hotspots, provided free WiFi in many campus areas and offered free remote access to software.

The campuses participating in the first phase of CSUCCESS comprise CSU Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Maritime Academy, Northridge and San Marcos. The university plans to expand the initiative in phases to support additional students and campuses.

"I am convinced that true and consistent student success depends on having a modern, and more importantly, reliable, computing device in our students' possession beginning on day one and continuing throughout their college experience," said Castro. "We aspire to have additional phases of the initiative that will expand access in the future to more new and current students at other CSU campuses."

For more information, visit the CSUCCESS site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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