Student Device Access and Internet Connectivity—Data and Action to Foster Equity
When the pandemic hit in spring 2020 and the California State University pivoted to remote instruction, IT units across the system scrambled to lend students devices and hotspots, and to provide creative solutions like Wi-Fi access from parking lots to support instructional continuity. While the system has invested in robust infrastructure for connectivity across all the campuses, it was unclear what students had access to off campus. Like many institutions, it was a challenge for campuses to prioritize strained budgets to provide the right support systems without more concrete data on resources available to students. In partnership with the EDUCAUSE Center for Research and Analytics, Information Technology Services investigated student access to devices and broadband in a student study. While a low percentage of students (10%) reported having no access to the internet or a device at home, a greater number of students reported having no reliable access to the internet and/or devices sufficient to complete all their coursework. In this session, we’ll share the findings from the quantitative and qualitative phases of the survey, discuss measures campuses took to support student access and connectivity, and consider recommendations to help advance institutions’ understanding of student needs across the broader higher education community.
**This session was previously recorded live in Philadelphia.**