January 17, 2019
Since 1957, Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) has opened the doors to accessible, affordable, high-quality education, empowering generations of area residents to improve their lives and the lives of others. Renowned for its expansive selection of degree, certificate and workplace certification programs, CCBC prepares students for transfer, job entry and career advancement in local job growth industries such as business, education, health care and information technology. With an enrollment of more than 63,000 students at the institution’s main campuses, extension centers and online, it is among the nation’s top associate degree producers.
“65% of college students had, at some point, decided against buying a college textbook, and of that group, 94% had concerns that it would impact their grades.” — U.S. Public Interest Research Group
Community and technical college students often have higher levels of unmet financial need because they are more likely to have outside responsibilities and receive smaller financial aid packages than 4-year students. Because money is tight, community college students often make the decision to delay or avoid purchasing their required learning materials. But there are consequences: 50 percent of students acknowledge choosing to go without learning materials causes their grades to suffer.
Nationally recognized as a leader in innovative learning strategies, CCBC was interested in introducing an inclusive access program to its three campuses and two satellites to lower the cost of learning materials and improve access for its students. But they wanted to better understand how Barnes & Noble College’s First Day™ model could help them. The College wanted to know what was involved in implementing an alternative course materials delivery model, what kinds of technical support would be included, the key benefits for faculty and, more importantly, how it would improve access, affordability and achievement for its students.
Working closely with CBCC faculty and administration, Barnes & Noble College created a custom step-by-step plan that detailed the implementation process, LMS integration, clearly outlined timelines, custom course creation and how to utilize its available tools. The campus store manager held information sessions and followed up, one-on-one, with faculty members to ensure they were comfortable using First Day — and answered all questions they had. The store manager also visited classes that were utilizing First Day to show students how to easily access their materials and use the eBook.
“I embarked on choosing to use one of two courses to pilot our First Day program and it was a resounding success because of General Manager, Samantha Howe, who thoroughly explained the use and benefits of the program.” — Nina Brown, Sociology Instructor at CCBC
CCBC enrolled a total of 646 students in Barnes & Noble College’s First Day inclusive access program and had less than one percent of students opt out, meaning, nearly the entire class had their required learning materials on the first day of class. 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. That translates to over $42,200 in savings to students over one semester. 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.