Norfolk State University (NSU) in Norfolk, Virginia, has announced that it will launch the Spartan Innovation Academy program this fall. Every incoming and returning student will be provided an iPad Pro with 5G speeds to access their studies on and off campus, as well as Apple Pencil, Apple Smart Keyboard Folio, and AirPods Pro with active noise cancellation.
NSU, the largest HBCU in Virginia, will distribute more than 6,000 Apple products to students, faculty and select staff members during the fall 2021 semester. Students will be able to keep the devices throughout their enrollment at the university and upon graduation, can purchase the device for US$1. The devices will be provided to faculty and staff at no cost, according to NSU President Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston.
As part of the initiative, Norfolk State will utilize a full-time Apple Professional Learning Specialist, engineering services, and project management. The university will also provide MacBook Pro notebooks to students based on their majors or courses in addition to iMacs that will be in a design lab for students to learn coding and app development using Apple’s curriculum and Swift, the powerful and intuitive open-source programming language.
Additionally, the University will partner with K-12 systems in the region and leverage this program to create academic and professional development opportunities for NSU students and K-12 students.The Spartan Innovation Academy is a new initiative that, per NSU, “will provide students, faculty, and staff with access to industry-leading technology and specialized training for app development.” NSU will be the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to facilitate a campus-wide deployment of Apple products to all students and faculty in a first-year program such as this one.
“This tremendous collaboration is all about investing in students at Norfolk State, one of Virginia’s leading universities,” said Governor Ralph S. Northam. “Apple’s work with Norfolk State will give students the physical tools they need to compete now—and the never-ending gift of confidence that come with knowing they deserve a chance to succeed. The Spartan Innovation Academy Program demonstrates the tremendous value, diversity, and opportunity that these students bring to the Commonwealth.”