Incoming first-year and new transfer students at eight California State University campuses will be given free iPads and other technology tools this fall as part of an effort to boost student achievement and remove “equity gaps” among diverse student populations, officials announced Monday.
Under the program known as CSUCCESS — California State University Connectivity Contributing to Equity and Student Success — participating first- year and new transfer students at the campuses will receive an iPad Air, Apple Pencil and Apple Smart Keyboard Folio. The students will keep the equipment throughout their time at the CSU.
University officials said 35,000 students will receive the devices. Cal State Los Angeles and Cal State Northridge are among the eight campuses taking part in the program’s rollout. The others are Cal State Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Fresno, Humboldt, Maritime Academy and San Marcos.
“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,” said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. “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.”
CSU officials noted that while the majority of classes will return to an in-person format this fall, some courses will continue to be offered virtually. Providing the technological equipment is seen as an effort to boost the success of a student population that may lack the financial resources to obtain equipment needed to take full advantage of educational resources.
Nearly half of CSU undergraduates receive Pell Grants due to financial need, and nearly one-third are the first in their families to attend college.