A variety of barriers to success can exist for college students today, including access to technology and equipment. With so many courses requiring online access and student outcomes relying so heavily on their ability to navigate technology, it's important that students have access to tools that meet their needs.
Southern Virginia University, a four-year, private institution located in rural Virginia, is taking a proactive approach to ensure equity to technology for their students. The school implemented a LaunchPad Initiative and introduced a new app that offers a centralized communication hub for students.
Jeremy John and Jessie Whipple from Southern Virginia University highlighted the tech-forward initiatives in our September Partner Spotlight: Equity through Technology on a Rural Campus.
Read the highlights below and watch the full replay here!
LaunchPad Initiative: Offering Equity to Technology from Day One
- As part of their tuition, all students are provided an iPad to ensure a level playing field from day one
- The program was introduced in 2017 and Southern Virginia University is now an Apple Distinguished-School, a recognition held by approximately 600 schools nationwide
- Providing the iPad to students created consistency in assignment formats and ensured all students had the technology available to them to complete their work
The New Knight App: Driving Students to a Centralized Hub for Information
- Southern Virginia University recently launched a new version of their campus-app, the Knight App
- By introducing the app to incoming students in orientation and downloading it to their iPads prior to distribution, the school laid the foundation for where students can find information
- Push notifications allow the school to communicate important information to students, rather than relying on students checking their email
- Select student groups piloted the app before releasing it to the full student population to ensure it was user-friendly and included information students found to be helpful and necessary