OAK BROOK, Ill./PRNewswire/ -- Follett announced includED, a new program that will accelerate the "text-with-tuition" trend to provide students with all required course materials as part of tuition or fees. Because the program is fully scalable and does not limit student participation, schools can implement includED in a variety of ways, including for individual courses, a cohort, a department or across the entire institution. includED also provides access to both print and digital materials from any publisher. The company has successfully piloted includED with six schools at all levels of education and is now working closely with more than 80 schools to explore the program.
"includED addresses the barriers that have prevented many schools from offering course materials with tuition," said Tom Christopher, President, Follett Higher Education Group. "Our program can accommodate any type of content and any number of students. includED takes course materials with tuition to the next level and creates long-term solutions for our partners."
Across the education industry, the trend of providing course materials with tuition is gaining momentum in part because the model ensures all students have their required materials, and can help make materials more affordable for students. According to the 2012 re:fuel College Explorer study, 22 percent of students said they have chosen not to take a course because the cost of textbooks/course materials for the course is too high. At the same time, according to Follett research, more than 85 percent of faculty say that students who are prepared with required course materials are more engaged in class and get better grades.
Follett's includED program is scalable because it can be implemented across a single course or an entire school with the help of the company's proprietary Schedule Adoption Matching (SAM) technology. This enables Follett to match real-time student enrollment data with the course materials that faculty select. And, because Follett maintains relationships with all major publishers, schools don't need to waste time and resources managing multiple contracts.
"Follett understood our challenge and helped us establish and implement a program that made it easier for our faculty to teach and for students to learn," said Jean Wisuri, Director, Distance Education, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College who worked with Follett to implement a program that served the Paralegal Studies department.
Unlike other programs, includED offers many unique student benefits:
Use of financial aid: Because includED allows materials to be packaged with the full cost of education, students can apply financial aid toward their material fees
In-person customer service: Follett provides the convenience of on-the-ground support at the campus bookstore
Reinvestment to the school: When schools purchase through Follett, a portion is reinvested through direct school funding and local student jobs
Students have shown strong support for the program at schools like Fayetteville State University, where Follett managed a program to provide all students with rental course materials.
"We surveyed our students and they overwhelmingly said they supported the program because of the cost savings it provided," said Joseph Alston, Director of Business Services, Fayetteville State University.
Students also have easier access to digital materials through includED. To maximize existing technology investments, Follett works with publishers to deliver digital course materials through a school's existing Learning Management System (LMS). This gives students and faculty quick, easy access to their course materials through a single sign-on instead of having to use multiple access codes through multiple websites.
"Follett is becoming more than just a source for books. They are a resource for finding, buying and using digital course materials. And they are in a position to really listen to what educators want and what IT needs to deliver the goods," said Samantha Birk, Associate Director for Instructional Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne (IPFW). IPFW was one of the first pilot schools to deliver digital content across ten courses and continues to expand the program.
To learn more about the company's includED program, visit FollettForward.com.