WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — A digital deficit was the reality facing many students at the University of the District of Columbia. According to UDC, 76% of its students reported having access to a computer, but 36% have to share that computer with family members.
This fall, the school partnered with Microsoft and gave its 700 first-year students a brand-new Microsoft Surface Pro 7.
Adrienne Douglas is a single mother and sophomore studying criminal justice at UDC.
"Once we shifted into the virtual environment, I am constantly cognizant of my finances," Douglas said. "So I was definitely stressed out about how am I going to obtain a device so that I can further my education, so I think it’s a great initiative.”
Microsoft said it joined the initiative as a way to offer resources to educators and students.
"Since the summer, our team has collaborated closely with UDC to help provide educational continuity through Surface devices powered by Windows and other Microsoft services and training, and empower faculty, staff and students with the tools they need to stay connected and learning," Microsoft Education said in a statement. "We are honored to work with and support UDC in managing this undertaking.”
UDC is the only public university in the nation’s capital. The school said it hopes this leap forward in device access will make a tremendous impact on student outcomes and help prepare them for their future professional lives.