By Connor Brown
Pima Community College is expanding the IncludED program for its students next semester.
The program, seeks to lower costs for student’s course materials by including their the cost in tuition, which will be expanded to include a few accounting courses. The program previously covered a few computer science courses.
The IncludED program “delivers all required course materials, print, digital and supplies to students as part of their tuition or fees,” states the program’s website. “It’s a simple idea that delivers tremendous benefits for students, faculty, administrators, and publisher partners.”
The program has been implemented around the country with varying levels of success.
At Southeastern University, many students were unable to purchase class materials and fell behind on coursework, leading them to drop classes. IncludED included the costs of math textbooks into tuition fees so financial aid and scholarships could pay for the materials. This also allowed students to have access to their course materials as soon as the class started.
“IncludED has solved so many problems for us by simplifying and streamlining
the process of students accessing their required course materials,” said Shearen Fredere, Associate Professor and Chair of the Mathematics Department at Southeastern. “The start of
each semester typically included hundreds of potential problems with students accessing their materials. Now with includED, every student has access to all of their math materials on day one, so professors are able to begin instruction immediately and students can get right to work.”
Having textbooks included in the cost of tuition may help draw more students into Pima as well.
“We certainly utilize the ‘Pros’ of the program as a recruitment highlight when speaking to students, parents, guardians, counselors, etc,” said Michael Head, Associate Director of Admissions at Fayetteville State University. “The money saved from the book rental program adds to the attractiveness of our institution.”
In 2004, students at Fayetteville paid $140 at registration to have their materials immediately ready for rental for the first day of class. The school discontinued the program in 2005 and as a result students had to pay on average $354 for required coursework materials. That year only four in ten students purchased required textbooks for each of their classes.
So far Pima has only implemented the program in a small scale.
“IncludED helps students by offering faculty the options for low cost textbook choices in many subjects,” said Jan Kemper, Dean of Distance Education.