AT&T representatives presented Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro with a $50,000 contribution to assist in the expansion of its DISCOVERe tablet program. The University plans to expand the program from 1,200 to 5,000 students through 2015. The contribution from AT&T will support that expansion by increasing student training and providing enhanced support to students with disabilities.
“The DISCOVERe program is transforming the way our students learn and the way our faculty teach,” Castro said in accepting the grant from AT&T officials in the DISCOVERe Hub in the Henry Madden Library. “As our students prepare for careers that are increasingly dependent on technology, it is critical that they have access to technology in the classroom. The University appreciates AT&T’s commitment to supporting our students and helping to provide them with tools they need to succeed.”
Fresno State’s DISCOVERe program launched in August with an initial cohort of 1,200 students and 33 faculty members. Tablets are used as a primary teaching and learning tool, and participating faculty specifically reshaped their curriculum to make the courses more tablet-compatible. Many students can obtain tablets free of charge through a University package, which also includes a complimentary one-year 4G LTE data plan through AT&T. Enrollment in the initial offering of tablet courses is at 100 percent.
“Employers like AT&T want to hire recent graduates who are innovative, tech-savvy and adept at using these devices,” said Julie Tone, director of AT&T external affairs. “That’s why we seek out forward-thinking higher education partners like President Castro to bring that same innovative spirit to the classroom. We’re very excited to partner with Fresno State to expand this program—DISCOVERe has the potential to become a model for how to run a tablet program in higher education.”
This contribution is part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature education initiative focused on school success and career readiness. AT&T Aspire has impacted more than 1 million students since its launch in 2008.