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CSULB joins CSU initiative to help bridge the digital divide for students

Published November 17, 2021

Cal State Long Beach students will have access to additional technology through a California State University program that looks to bridge the digital divide and advance educational equity. The Beach has committed to joining a cohort of other CSU campuses by offering iPad bundles to eligible students.

CSUCCESS (California State University Connectivity Contributing to Equity and Student Success) is a bold initiative to enhance student achievement and create more equitable opportunities for the CSU community by providing industry-leading technology.  

The system-wide initiative builds on the successful fall 2021 launch, adding six campuses to the initial eight schools that offered eligible students a loaned technology bundle that includes a new iPad Air, Apple Pencil and Apple Smart Keyboard Folio. In addition, students can request a free Wi-Fi hotspot. 

“The CSUCCESS program will help ensure our first-year students have the necessary technology to be successful,” said Bryon Jackson, assistant vice president, Unified Technology Support and Innovation at The Beach. “We have taken many steps to bridge the digital divide during the pandemic and the CSUCCESS program only strengthens the Student Technology Loan program for our students in need.” 

The new iPads increase the number of technological services available to first year and new transfer students at The Beach who begin in the spring 2022 term. Last year, technology became increasingly important amid the coronavirus pandemic, and CSULB instituted a successful laptop loan program through the Division of Student Affairs and Division of Information Technology (DOIT), which partnered to bridge the digital divide by using funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

According to Min Yao, vice president and CIO of DOIT, The Beach was allocated about $5 million through the CARES Act to address the digital divide by supplying laptop computers and internet hotspots. Students in the program have access to software programs in the virtual computer lab online, a technology hub and temporary computer lab in the University Student Union. 

During the first phase of the initiative, eight participating CSU campuses (Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Maritime Academy, Northridge and San Marcos) offered every new first-year and transfer student an opportunity to register for a new iPad bundle putting the tools for success in their hands.