Cal Poly Pomona will provide all incoming spring 2022 first-time students with the opportunity to borrow an iPad technology bundle or a laptop computer. A Wi-Fi hotspot will be included if needed.
The initiative is part of the California State University Connectivity Contributing to Equity and Success (CSUCCESS, pronounced C-success) program designed to enhance student achievement and create more equitable opportunities by ensuring that new CSU students have access to industry-leading technology.
Students will be able to use the devices, for free, through completion of their degree at the university. The program has no income-based eligibility requirements. Because the equipment is provided as a loan, there is no adverse impact on financial aid awards.
Cal Poly Pomona has approximately 29,000 students with nearly 75 percent receiving financial aid. More than half are the first in their families to attend college. Many juggle work and family responsibilities, which increased during the pandemic.
Early in the pandemic when classes moved to virtual instruction, the university surveyed fall 2020 incoming students before the semester and found that more than 400 did not have reliable access to a computer or iPad. Meanwhile, many current students revealed that they had been relying on on-campus computer labs to complete their work.
“We found that regular access to technology was a much bigger issue than we knew,” said Terri Gomez, associate provost for student success, equity and inclusion.
In response, the university greatly expanded its laptop and Wi-Fi hotspot loan program and added hotspots to the program. Current students can borrow laptops for the semester or for a four-hour period for on-campus use. Hot spots are also available for a semester-long loan. More than 250 students checked out computers for the fall semester and more than 440 have borrowed Wi-Fi hotspots.
In addition, the Bronco Bookstore created a laptop lease-to-own program. Options include two different Dell Laptop packages and a 13” MacBook Pro package, all with special education pricing.
For more information on the student programs, visit the Accessing Student Technology webpage.
“We know that having access to a new up-to-date laptop or iPad is critical to student success,” said John McGuthry, vice president for information technology. “We are happy to be able to provide our incoming students with the essential technology they need to complete their degrees. This is another step in making sure all of our students have an equal opportunity to succeed. “
Cal Poly Pomona hopes to continue the CSUCCESS program for incoming students this fall, if a sustainable source of funding is identified.
Phase One of CSUCCESS was launched with eight CSU campuses in fall 2021 and distributed more than 22,700 device bundles. Phase Two adds five campuses for the spring 2022 semester: Cal Poly Pomona, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, San Bernardino and Sonoma.