Ripping the Band Aid Off: Start the Conversation of Transitioning to an Inclusive Access Resource Model in Higher Ed

Concurrent Session 4

Brief Abstract

Begin your journey towards a more affordable, sustainable and flexible resource distribution model at your organization with an exploration of Inclusive Access. Representatives from an institution that recently underwent a project to incorporate Inclusive Access will lead you in brainstorming activities and guide you towards an actionable project plan.


Coming from a background in classroom teaching at a primary level, Lindsay has been working in higher education for six years. During that time she has brought an updated, standardized and innovative approach to the areas of academic procurement, vendor management, and resource distribution. Lindsay holds Master's degrees in Instructional Design and Technology as well as Organizational Leadership, is CAPM and Scrum Master certified, and has published works related to her many projects at Southern New Hampshire University. When not working, Lindsay - a New Hampshire native - enjoys spending time outdoors boating, hiking fishing, and camping.

Extended Abstract

Much has been written and discussed in the higher education community recently with regards to organizations pushing to drive down the cost of resources for their students, and the various techniques and programs that exist to accomplish this goal. One such program that has garnered a lot of attention over the last few years is that of Inclusive Access in which students are automatically charged for their resources at the time of registration or as a part of tuition, rather than having to purchase them manually though a bookstore or other third party distributor. The benefits of this program often include a reduction in overall cost for resources, seamless and guaranteed access for all students on day one of the course, and an increase in student and faculty satisfaction.  While many universities undoubtedly see the value of this model and want to explore a potential adoption, when considering this transition often the implications and lift seem daunting and many organizations have trouble figuring out where to begin.

In this interactive session, participants will learn the first steps and initial considerations they should take when determining how to move forward with an alternative distribution model for resources at their institution, such as an Inclusive Access model. The session will begin with a short overview of the Inclusive Access model, as well as similar distribution models, and how they can vary by institution. After grouping participants based on types of institution or background, participants will complete several activities that will help them begin the process of considering one of these programs at their organization. They will come away with an understanding of the level of cross functional collaboration that is needed to incorporate these programs, as well as identify specific considerations for their individual environments.

Presenters for this session recently underwent an 18-month long project at their institution geared towards making the transition to an Inclusive Access model at their online-based Global Campus. During the course of the project, the team was intentionally deliberate in assessing the impact of the change and the considerations that need to be made. The presenters are uniquely qualified to lead a presentation such as this given their organization’s position as a leader in innovation in the higher education arena. Creative and individualized application of the principles and processes necessary to consider a change to a resource distribution model or content strategy at an organization are some of the unique and valuable assets that the presenters can bring to this session.

Level of Participation:

Activities such as brainstorming, categorization of questions and considerations, as well as audits for readiness of the institution will be conducted. Brainstorming can be accomplished through techniques such as mind-mapping and group discussions. Once all the impacts and considerations are noted and categorized for each group, the next step is to determine the next step - the first step. Depending on the organization this will vary, and presenters will help participants make this determination using techniques of project management and business case development. The results of these activities will be condensed into an actionable plan for drafting a project proposal or project plan to begin the transition at their organization.

Session Objectives:

The objectives of this session will be to ensure participants have an understanding of the various options and models available to them for resource distribution at their organization. Additionally, participants will take part in active idea generation of the considerations and impacts of this transition at their given organization. Lastly, participants will generate an artifact containing actionable steps towards a new model to take away and apply at their organization.