Penn State athletes will receive one more perk this coming fall: free iPads to help with their school work.
Athletic Director David Joyner introduced the Intercollegiate Athletics Technology Program on Friday, an initiative that will give each of the over 800 student-athletes at University Park an iPad to support their scholarly goals.
This decision follows a year of exceptional academic success among student-athletes. 285 earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, its second-highest mark in 21 years as a Big Ten school. 461 student-athletes received a GPA of 3.0 or higher, 205 of whom were named to the Dean’s List.
“The iPad program will add to the expansive range of support services we provide student-athletes at Penn State,” said Joyner in the press release. “We believe the academic benefits, technological opportunities and improved accessibility will enrich the student-athlete experience.”
The program is a collaboration between the administration and operating budgets for the 31 varsity sports, as well as the student-athlete opportunity fund and the Morgan Academic Support Center.
Linda Caldwell, the university’s faculty athletics representative, called the iPads a tool the student-athletes “need to excel academically.”
Additionally, the change will improve current technological support programs provided to Nittany Lion student-athletes. From the press release, it will:
- Enhancing learning through digital technology including e-textbooks, digital course materials and online course programming
- Increasing time management and study skills through apps specifically designed to help students manage hectic schedules and workloads
- Improving connectivity and communication to interact with faculty members and classmates, as well as with Morgan Center advising staff
- Providing more efficient access team-related material (e.g., playbooks, video, and compliance forms), giving them more time to be students first and attend to their academic life
- Increasing familiarity with the latest technology to prepare for life in the workplace after graduation
Penn State is not the first school to give its athletes iPads. In the Big Ten alone, Ohio State, Indiana and Maryland have all given their student-athletes the same treatment, while a handful of other schools from around the country have joined in.