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AT&T Gift Helps Close Digital Divide at Fresno State

FRESNO STATE — Fresno State hosted representatives from AT&T, including California President Rhonda Johnson, to celebrate AT&T’s commitment to help  students close the digital divide. AT&T announced a grant of $200,000 from the AT&T Foundation that will directly benefit students and support Fresno State’s DISCOVERe Mobile Technology Program.

Image of a software developer.In total, AT&T announced an allocation of $350,000 that will benefit a number of local community-based organizations including the One Fresno Foundation.

“AT&T is proud to support Fresno State’s DISCOVERe Program, our collaborative effort in narrowing the digital divide in Fresno,” said Rhonda Johnson, president of AT&T-California. “This program is so critical because it reduces digital equity gaps by providing students with access to the latest technology tools and devices at no additional cost.”

The DISCOVERe program is a priority initiative designed to foster a learning environment that is inclusive and engages students to improve their success in the classroom. DISCOVERe has been effective in breaking down the digital divide and reducing equity gaps by integrating technology throughout the academic experience so students master digital literacy skills that are critical for jobs in today’s workplace.

The check presentation occurred at the DISCOVERe Hub, located on the  first floor of the Henry Madden Library where students and faculty are able to receive technical assistance and training with DISCOVERe technology.

Throughout the pandemic, access to computing equipment and connectivity  has been identified as a barrier for some students. It was clear that the digital divide was one of the greatest obstacles to creating a more equitable student journey.

Image of a computer.Access to technology is a significant resource for helping students be successful from the moment they arrive at Fresno State until graduation.

“Closing the digital divide for our students is a top priority for Fresno State,” said Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, president of Fresno State. “With Fresno State’s DISCOVERe Program and CSUCCESS, we are the clear leaders in breaking down barriers and removing equity gaps by getting technology into the hands of our students. This technology opens doors of opportunity for our talented students and allows them to forge a sense of belonging within their disciplines and at Fresno State. On behalf of our students and campus community, I want to thank AT&T for their generosity and for their visionary investment in our DISCOVERe program. I sincerely appreciate AT&T’s commitment to community engagement and empowerment.”

Launched in 2014, the DISCOVERe program transforms the classroom experience, providing students with engaging material through the use of laptops, tablets or smartphones. This helps students master digital literacy skills that are increasingly needed for jobs in today’s workforce. It increases group collaboration and reduces the cost of classroom textbooks and other materials by up to 72%.

This academic year, 4,740 Fresno State students are enrolled in 147 DISCOVERe courses. Almost 4,000 mobile devices have been distributed to students, and 35 students work as DISCOVERe guides, helping to deploy the technology.

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