The California State University (CSU) today announced the launch of the first phase of CSUCCESS (California State University Connectivity Contributing to Equity and Student Success), a bold initiative to enhance student achievement and create more equitable opportunities for the CSU community by providing industry-leading technology.
As part of the initial phase which kicks off with the upcoming fall 2021 term at eight campuses, the CSU will offer an iPad Air, Apple Pencil, and Apple Smart Keyboard Folio to all incoming first-year and new transfer students who register to participate in the initiative. Students will be provided with this iPad bundle for the entirety of their undergraduate experience at the CSU.
“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.”
Nearly half of all CSU undergraduates receive Pell Grants—demonstrating financial need—and nearly one-third are the first in their family to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The CSU works to prepare California’s workforce in many of the state’s key industries. For example, each year the CSU prepares more of California’s teachers than any other institution, and approximately four percent of all teachers prepared in the nation. Nursing and healthcare are also areas of focus for the university, with CSU campuses conferring more than 3,000 degrees on new nurses annually.
Over the course of the past year, the CSU helped bridge the equity divide by increasing critical technology access to ensure student success in a virtual learning environment. While the CSU plans to offer the majority of instruction in person beginning in the fall term, some courses will be offered virtually, by necessity, due to ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
CSUCCESS will help by providing students with tools to participate in a virtual learning environment. The new CSUCCESS initiative builds on previous efforts to address the issue at scale by partnering with a global technology leader at the university-wide level to provide a high-quality, reliable device for new students.
“At Apple, we believe that education is a powerful force for equity and opportunity, and that technology can empower all students to achieve their goals,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s Vice President of Education and Enterprise Marketing. “We’re thrilled that iPad Air and the incredible education apps in the App Store will be central to the experience at CSU campuses across California, and will play a part in the learning and career development of students from Humboldt to San Marcos.”
As the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with eight of its campuses (Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Maritime Academy, Northridge and San Marcos) participating in the first phase, CSUCCESS will mark one of the largest programs of its kind, with the potential to serve up to 35,000 students across California.
I am excited to get technology into the hands of students so they can learn when and where they want to and succeed in their pursuits,” says Bethany Rizzardi, Chief Information Officer at Humboldt State University. “We know from this last year that at least 10% of our students didn’t have access to a computer and were relying on computer labs to access software. These students had to schedule their study time around open hours. With the CSUCCESS iPad program and our Virtual Lab, students can access software anywhere they have reliable internet access!”
The program is an important component in the CSU’s efforts to recover from the pandemic and improve student success while eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps as part of Graduation Initiative 2025.
“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,” added 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.”
Visit the CSUCCESS website”:https://www2.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/student-success/csuccess/Pa… for additional information about the program.
Note: This story was originally published on July 12, 2021.