This spring semester, Cal State San Bernardino will provide iPad bundles to incoming first-year students and transfer students as part of a special California State University initiative designed to enhance student achievement and create more equitable opportunities through industry leading technology.

CSUSB will be part of the second phase of the CSUCCESS (California State University Connectivity Contributing to Equity and Student Success) initiative, the largest device distribution of its kind of four-year institutions of higher education. CSUSB joins five other CSU campuses (Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Pomona and Sonoma) participating in the second phase.

The six campuses will join eight other CSU campuses (Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Maritime Academy, Northridge and San Marcos), which were part of the first phase of CSUCCESS. The first phase was launched in fall 2021 when more than 22,700 students received iPad bundles.

CSU officials estimate about 6,000 students systemwide will receive an iPad bundle during phase two in spring 2022. Combined with the devices deployed during phase one, the program will have served nearly 29,00 students during the 2021-2022 academic year.

“Our goal is to ensure our students, especially those in need, have access to technology to help them achieve their academic goals,” said Samuel Sudhakar, the university’s chief information officer and vice president for Information Technology Services. “This is especially important for our incoming freshmen and transfer students.”

All CSUSB freshmen and transfer students starting in the 2022 spring semester will be eligible upon request to receive the technology bundles that include a new iPad Air, Apple Pencil and Apple Smart Keyboard Folio. The students may also request a free Wi-Fi hotspot device, which includes an unlimited data plan.

The bundled devices and hot spot devices will help students, many of whom may lack or need dependable computers and equipment, access to the technology that serves as an extension to CSUSB’s student success ecosystem, said Sudhakar.

CSUCCESS is concentrating on new students as they may need more help in higher education, specifically from continuing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This program will be key for us in helping our students succeed,” said Rachel Beech, CSUSB’s associate vice president for enrollment management. “Knowing that technology access can be a hurdle for new and incoming students as they start college, the CSUCCESS initiative will help make their transition smoother so they can focus on attaining their educational objectives and not whether or not they have the ability to connect to their course materials.”

The need for computing equipment was especially evident during the pandemic, when CSUSB was forced to move to virtual and online classes, lectures and labs. By being unable to come to campus, many students lost access to the university’s free computer labs and Wi-Fi.

“We learned so much about the needs of our students outside of campus because of COVID-19,” Sudhakar said.

CSUSB students will be provided with the iPad bundle for the entirety of their undergraduate experience at CSUSB and the CSU.