LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — Incoming students at eight California State University campuses will be given free iPads and other technology tools when they begin this fall in an effort to boost student achievement and remove “equity gaps,” school officials announced.

The program, known as CSUCCESS or California State University Connectivity Contributing to Equity and Student Success, provides participating first-year and new transfer students at the campuses will receive an iPad Air, Apple Pencil and Apple Smart Keyboard Folio.

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University officials said 35,000 students will receive the devices. The students are then able to keep the equipment throughout their time at the universities.

Cal State Los Angeles and Cal State Northridge are among the eight campuses taking part in the program’s rollout. The others are Cal State Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Fresno, Humboldt, Maritime Academy and San Marcos.

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“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.”

CSU officials noted that while the majority of classes will return to an in-person format this fall, some courses will continue to be offered virtually.

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