Cal State Long Beach’s Technology Loan Program will continue for the Fall 2021 semester, furthering its work to bridge the digital divide and provide access to students throughout the campus community.
Last year, CSULB’s Division of Student Affairs (DSA) and Division of Information Technology (DoIT) worked together to address access to technology. Both divisions used funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to implement a robust technology plan that will be in place again this fall semester.
The plan includes a Technology Loan Program, increased outdoor Wi-Fi and COVID-19-safe computer labs on campus.
Vu Mai, assistant director of DSA communications & data, said that the initiatives stem from the University’s goal to close opportunity gaps and ensure that all students have access to a quality education.
“During the pandemic, I believe the underrepresented student population was impacted the most,” she said. “Having a laptop and a reliable internet service available to the students in need is important for their educational success.”
About $5 million from the CARES Act was allocated to implement the technology plans, and much of it helped supply laptops and internet hotspots. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 1,860 laptops and 3,275 hotspots were loaned to students.
Here’s how the university is continuing its work to bridge the digital divide:
Student Laptop/Hotspot Loan Program
- A joint effort by DoIT and DSA, the student technology loan program will continue for another year to provide students in need with a Windows laptop and/or an internet hotspot.
- Last school year, the University provided students with over 1,800 laptop computers and over 3,200 AT&T internet hotspots.
Students can sign up for a laptop or hotspot by filling out a form provided by DSA. There is no deadline to apply, and the program is first come, first served.
- DoIT expanded outdoor Wi-Fi on campus including on the University Student Union south and west patios, Nugget Patio, Maxson Plaza (seating area only), and the first floor of the Palo Verde South Parking Structure. Additional outdoor Wi-Fi expansion projects continue to blanket nearly all outdoor. Visit the Interactive Map to find locations with outdoor Wi-Fi.
Open Access Computer Labs
- Two computer labs will provide students access to computers and printers for their coursework. The University Express Lab will be in Student Success Center Room 020 (lower level). Reservations must be made on the University Express Lab’s website.
- The Spidell Technology Center in the University Library will be open for student use starting Aug. 23, when the library reopens. The number of computers available for use may vary based on social distancing requirements.
Student Virtual Lab
- DoIT has expanded the Student Virtual Lab (SVL) from 400 to 1,000 seats to accommodate students’ needs for remotely using software programs via the internet.
- DoIT has also provided students with the remote access to existing specialty software programs in select college computer labs.