When Kyler Patton enrolled in the World Literature II course at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, in Wesson, Miss., he intended to buy the textbook right away. But finding time to get to the bookstore, and carving out enough money in his budget, proved more difficult than he imagined. So for the first couple of weeks of the semester, he went without it.
Kyler quickly discovered that not having the book was like hearing only half of a conversation. In class, he struggled to grasp the material being discussed. Confused, he started sneaking glances at a neighbor’s book to try to keep up. As his classmates progressed, Kyler felt himself falling behind. “I finally got the book after two weeks,” he says. “Then I spent the rest of the semester playing catch up.”
In another time, or on another campus, a student who faced similar hurdles might drop out after a semester. But an innovative solution the community college implemented years before not only kept Kyler in school, it’s helped him and countless other students thrive.