DLIAward Winner Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

Concurrent Session 9

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

DLIAward Winner

Category:  Faculty-Led Team Award

Courseware Platform:  e-Text (a Cengage Learning Partnership)

Rowan-Cabarrus educators are always seeking ways to improve teaching and student learning experiences.  One strategy is to increase learning by making it as easy and appealing as possible for students to access and utilize course materials.  The most common barrier keeping students from accessing course materials was high textbook cost, and students weren't buying books, thus limiting their ability to succeed.  In addition, tech savvy students demand digital connectivity for instant access to information.  If a transaction or process  -  such as finding, buying, or accessing course materials  -  is deemed too time consuming, some students won't bother.  To promote student preparedness, educators want to encourage students to buy and use course materials by making it easier and more affordable. Therefore, in 2014, the College partnered with Cengage Learning, Inc. for a new, inclusive access program.  Through this program, the College purchases digital textbooks directly from Cengage at a discounted price, providing digital access to each student through their course registration fee.  Inclusive access partnerships deliver course materials automatically to students, giving instructors peace of mind in knowing that students have the right materials on their first day of class.  Compared to traditional textbooks, students save 25% to 50% on course materials.  Students have embraced the model, as evidenced since only 17% to 20% purchased supplemental, loose-leaf versions of the digital texts.  Furthermore, the bookstore achieves 100% of sales through e-Text purchases and sees a large reduction of paper and shelf-space savings, thus reducing transportation cost and GHG emissions. 


Dr. Jenny Billings is the Chair of English (ENG) and Study Skills (ACA) at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in Concord and Salisbury, North Carolina. She serves as an English instructor, an advisor, and the faculty lead for the College's Inclusive Access partnership with Cengage Learning.



Extended Abstract

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC) began in the late 1950's to respond to the needs of a technically trained workforce. At the time, a new concept for training adults in vocational and technical skills was needed by emerging industries.  50 years later, the college has served over 650,000 students and is North Carolina's 9th largest community college.  The college encourages progressive evolution of programs and teaching mediums to support 32 degrees, 30 diplomas, and 142 certificate programs available. Rowan-Cabarrus has been aggressive in developing comprehensive, educational programming, currently offering many degree programs entirely online.  In 2015, an app launched allowing RCCC students to register for classes and view schedules on the go.  In both 2015 and 2016, RCCC received 10th and 6th (respectively) place finishes in the Top Ten Digital Community Colleges award given by the Center for Digital Education.