MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Penn State Greater Allegheny has been recognized as an "Apple Distinguished School" for 2022-25 for its Digital Fluency Project. The project places iPad in the hands of each student, faculty and staff member connecting all to innovative teaching, learning and service strategies.
Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership and educational excellence. They use Apple technology to inspire creativity, collaboration and critical thinking in learning, teaching and the school environment, and have documented results of academic accomplishments.
The Digital Fluency Project launched in the fall of 2018. What began as a one-to-one device initiative to promote digital equity quickly grew to an experiential undertaking that makes innovation the expectation on the campus.
“We are incredibly proud to be recognized as an Apple Distinguished School,” said Megan Nagel, interim chancellor, and chief academic officer at Penn State Greater Allegheny. “Knowing that every student has an iPad has enabled our faculty and staff to think differently about their interactions with students. Faculty are using apps and to increase collaboration and moving away from textbooks to open-source, or self-authored materials. Forty-nine percent of Greater Allegheny students are Pell Grant recipients. Our ability to reduce textbook costs and deliver no cost materials to iPad is in line with our commitment to access and affordability.”
Nagel identified three focus areas for the Digital Fluency Project, which includes identifying digital skills and competencies that align with degree program learning objectives, engaging employers to learn how digital fluency is used in the workforce, and leveraging the Apple Teacher program among students to develop a peer educator program in which current students help first year students embrace educational technology.
"Forty-nine percent of Greater Allegheny students are Pell Grant recipients. Our ability to reduce textbook costs and deliver no cost materials to iPad is in line with our commitment to access and affordability.”
—Megan Nagel , Interim Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer
Penn State Greater Allegheny’s mission inspires students to be greater by offering a transformative educational experience. As a catalyst for individual and social change, the campus is committed to improving the community and world. We offer three associate degree programs, 11 baccalaureate programs and the first two years of nearly all of Penn State’s 275+ majors. Located on a 52-acre campus in McKeesport, the campus is one of 20 undergraduate campuses of Penn State University and serves approximately 400 students — 42% from diverse populations and 49% of whom are first in their families to attend college.
The Digital Fluency Project is supported through generous employees and friends of the campus, including Penn State Greater Allegheny (McKeesport) alumnus Jim Minarik and his wife Megan. The Minariks established a Digital Fluency Challenge grant and donated $50,000 to the project.