With this program in place, nearly the entire class had its required learning materials on day one. The participation rate in courses using First Day digital materials was 99.9 percent, offering an average savings for students upwards of 61 percent. Students, on average, saved approximately $65 per course with First Day—which meant that, in total, students saved more than $42,200 over one semester.

Additionally, 97 percent of the students agreed or strongly agreed that they understood how to access the textbook from the instructor, the syllabus, or additional information posted in Blackboard. Even better, 86 percent agreed that having the textbook on the first day contributed to their success in the course. The initial success of First Day was so positive that CCBC is now expanding the program to six more classes—some with very large enrollments.

Inclusive access allows students to start on the right foot

That’s just one recent instance of an institution leveraging inclusive access programs to make education easier and more affordable for students. Many other schools have found success using the model, and it’s not hard to see why.

By providing access to materials earlier, universities empower students to conquer their courses immediately on the first day. These programs eliminate the guessing game that many students play in the first few weeks of class, when many deliberate whether it’s worth buying course materials or not. Even if they ultimately decide to buy, they often face long delays waiting for materials to arrive, meaning they are already falling behind before the semester barely begins.

Inclusive access programs offer tangible results to students and faculty

If students have all the materials they need from the jump, universities eliminate a large barrier to success and let students start the semester on the right foot. In the end, student outcomes are better under the inclusive access model and college feels a bit more affordable to traditional and non-traditional students alike.

In the wake of rising barriers to education, institutions can leverage technology that allows students to not only afford opportunities to learn, but to learn more effectively. Inclusive access is not just a trend—it’s a model that’s changing how colleges can provide their students with the best tools to succeed.

About the Author:

Dr. Nelda Nix-McCray is an associate professor at the Community College of Baltimore (CCBC).

Nina Brown is a sociology instructor at CCBC.


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