A&T Launches 'AMP-UP' With Major Mobilization of Apple Technology

By Todd Simmons / 11/04/2021 Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Students

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Nov. 4, 2021) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is launching an $8-million investment in hardware and software in collaboration with Apple in support of a new initiative: the Aggie Mobile Program -- Unlimited Possibilities (AMP-UP).

The seven-figure investment in AMP-UP is intended to spur creativity and innovation among faculty and first-year students, as well as to ensure that during the financial upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, students do not fall behind in computing technology due to their financial circumstance. Rather, hardware, software and Apple expertise will help to elevate the educational experience at A&T by providing access and equity for all students through a university wide mobile learning platform. The initial roll-out in January will involve pilot testing and assessment to determine any further opportunities for expansion. 

“This project will empower both faculty and first-year students with tools that allow them to easily incorporate and integrate innovation into their existing learning, creativity and research activities in any subject, including communications, science, history, engineering, computer science and, an area of strategic focus for A&T, mathematics,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Beryl McEwen. “The mathematics environment will include tools that allow for learning in new ways, from resources for tutoring to visualizing math in augmented reality.”

Each participating first-year student and faculty member who teaches first-year students will receive:

  • An iPad Air, 64GB
  • Apple Pencil for note taking, annotating, drawing, iterating and markup
  • Apple Smart Keyboard Folio
  • AppleCare+ for Schools to provide technical support when and where they need it
  • An Apple Professional Learning Specialist who will work along with educators and students for one year with N.C. A&T to bring to life the power of what is possible
  • Project Engineering and Project Management to ensure the right pieces are in place to ensure success. 

The technology will go far beyond serving business as usual. It is expected to facilitate operational efficiencies, and help re-envision such recurring activities as orientation, advising and student and career services. This initiative aligns with the 2021-22 strategic priorities, including evidence-based initiatives to improve student success and to implement signature operational improvements.

“This effort will support Innovations in the methods and practice of teaching, or pedagogy, and will include ways to successfully engage learners from all backgrounds,” said Audrey Dentith, Ph.D., director of the A&T Center for Teaching Excellence. “This technology will inspire faculty to imagine new ways to connect with students and energize their teaching for greater learning outcomes.”

The initiative will begin with a pilot phase in Spring of 2022. Faculty in the pilot sample will receive their new devices prior to the end of the Fall Semester, while participating first-year students will get theirs prior to the beginning of the 2022 Spring Semester.

The program is being supported through federal funds appropriated through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund or HEERF funding. It is just part of $21 million investments in seven areas of student success this fall, with each student being affected by more than one area, university financial leaders say. Every student, for instance, recently benefitted from the university’s free textbook program, and a great many also are affected by dining and housing scholarships or the free summer tuition provided in Summer 2021.

For more information, visit the AMP-UP website.

Media Contact Information: thsimmons@ncat.edu

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