Ivy Tech joins partnership to provide free textbooks


Staff Reports

Ivy Tech Community College has partnered with Cengage to provide all 90,000 students at more than 40 locations across Indiana and online with access to textbooks and course materials through Cengage Unlimited.

Cengage also will provide academic services and professional development to Ivy Tech administration and faculty to facilitate hybrid and online teaching.

Cengage, the largest U.S.-based education and technology company serving the college market, provides course materials to almost half of the 20 million students pursuing higher education in the country.

“Ivy Tech faculty have always embraced innovative strategies such as online learning and eight-week courses,” said Kara Monroe, senior vice president and provost at Ivy Tech.

“Our partnership with Cengage is another example of that innovation as it is providing enhanced faculty academic freedom in choice of course materials while simultaneously reducing the financial burden and time burden for students to get course materials,” she said. “This is yet another way that our faculty continue to meet students where they are and support their success in any way possible.”

The cost of course materials is a top financial stress for students, according to a recent Morning Consult survey. Previously, Ivy Tech students spent on average more than $1,400 annually on textbooks. Following the agreement with Cengage, Ivy Tech students whose courses use Cengage won’t have to pay for textbooks this academic year.

“Research suggests that more than a quarter of community college students don’t purchase books typically because they have other more pressing financial needs as many are low income, working in low wage jobs and shouldering family responsibilities, and those statistics were pre-COVID,” Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann said. “We are pleased to partner with Cengage in offering free course materials across the college helping reduce the financial strain on tens of thousands of Ivy Tech students.”

Ivy Tech used funding allocated to the institution under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act to provide students with Cengage materials. The Cengage Unlimited content license model made it easy for Ivy Tech to acquire learning materials across courses while also providing greater value for students.

Students will be able to access their Cengage course materials through the university learning management system starting on the first day of class. Students who also want print materials can rent up to four free hardcopy textbooks with a limited shipping cost for each. Ivy Tech’s bookstore partner, Barnes and Noble Education, is facilitating the distribution of Cengage Unlimited.

Cengage Unlimited gives students access to more than 22,000 products, including eTextbooks, online homework platforms, study guides and college success and career support.

Institutions deliver Cengage Unlimited at scale through a model called Cengage Unlimited for Institutions. Ivy Tech is one of more than 100 higher education institutions that have partnered with Cengage to provide course materials at scale through a content license model. The license model delivers value based on an institution’s unique implementation and enrollment needs.

More than 2.2 million U.S. college students have subscribed to Cengage Unlimited, and they’ve saved more than $200 million on course materials. For information, visit cengage.com/unlimited-institutional.

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