With its four, palm tree-dotted campuses and airy, modern buildings, Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) is a sunny oasis in the middle of a bustling city. But for years a persistent issue cast a shadow over the start of every semester. Many of FSCJ's 45,000 students often showed up empty-handed to class on the first day because their course materials were on backorder or they inadvertently bought or were given the wrong version of the textbook.
This hiccup wasn't just inconvenient. It had a ripple effect that could be felt long after the semester started. Teachers often delayed lessons so more students could get their materials. Learners wasted two precious resources—time and money—on books they couldn't use.
FSCJ administrators formed a steering committee to consider possible solutions, and like many of us, decided the future was in digital. Their solution was Inclusive Access, a partnership between the school, bookstore and publishers that delivers digital course materials to students below market rates on or before the first day of class.
In the spring of 2021, the school launched a pilot of the program, named FSCJ ACCESS, in 17 classes. Some of the major concerns revolved around the courseware charge itself. Could these charges be accurately applied to the student accounts, pulled down when students opted-out, and reapplied when students opted back in? Equally, this all had to be done in real time. These charges would need to be automatically pulled down for students who never attended the class.
Easing pain points for students and teachers