Inclusive Access is a method of providing access to digital course content when instructors are using interactive courseware platforms or e-books in place of printed text.

The Inclusive Access program has been making waves among universities across the country, with its innovative digital course materials model, since it was introduced by UC Davis in the Fall of 2014 with 3,000 students, 10 courses, and a handful of faculty with a pioneering spirit. UC Berkeley would be joining UCLA, UC Davis, UC Merced, UC Santa Cruz, UC San Diego, and UC Riverside in adopting the Inclusive Access model.

The program would allow our campus to reduce student course materials costs in comparison to traditional print text, and ensures that every student has easy access to the content by the first day of class. In short, the ASUC Student Union and the Cal Student Store want to upgrade our course materials model to combine affordability and ease of access with 21st century educational tools.

Two Main Goals of Inclusive Access:

1.  Reduce the overall cost of course materials to students.

2.  Provide access to products which improve educational outcomes for students.

Happy delighted student holding a tablet

Benefits to Faculty:

  • No restraint on academic freedom. Instructors choose the content.
  • Ability to manage content and even add their own in some platforms.
  • Students can begin online homework assignments on the first day of class.
  • Ability to integrate in the campus SIS for single sign-on access and grade-book integration.
  • Instructor analytics on student engagement and success.
  • Potential for peer to peer online access help desk staffed by UC Berkeley students.

Benefits to Students:

  • 50%-80% lower than equivalent pricing for printed textbooks.
  • Deferred student billing direct to student account.
  • Course materials available day one with no waiting in line.
  • No carrying heavy textbooks.
  • Increased interaction with course content leading to greater success in the course

Benefits to Student Organizations:

  • The Cal Student Store pays a sizable commission to the ASUC Student Union. This money directly supports registered student organizations and programs. 
  • The Cal Student Store is a beneficial partner to our campus, who actively look for ways to best serve our student population through employment opportunities, sponsorships, and programs.

Benefits to the Environment:

  • Reduces the footprint of transporting textbooks from manufacturing facilities to warehouses to students
  • Reduces water consumption in manufacturing of textbooks
  • Helps save trees!

The Process Is Simple:

  • When an instructor decides to include use of an interactive courseware platform in their curriculum, discount pricing is negotiated by the Inclusive Access program.
  • Student access instructions and billing info will be posted online.
  • Access is provided automatically for every student in the roster on the first day of class, including waitlisted students.
  • Students are able to access the content during the drop/add period with no initial payment, during which time they can opt out if they choose.
  • Students who remain in will have the access charge billed to their university account (Student Information System).
  • Students who drop the course during drop/add are automatically opted out and are not billed.

Why We Want To Do This:

The price of printed textbooks has increased at an astronomical rate since the 1980’s, surpassing almost all other economic indexes. In the current economic climate even used and rental textbooks, once the haven of affordability, are increasing in price and, conversely, decreasing in availability as sales of new textbooks decline. An alarming percentage of students choose to forego acquiring course materials altogether, putting their academic success at risk, and this number is growing each year. It is a complex downward spiraling cycle. Likewise, many publishers are simply no longer publishing printed versions of textbooks.

Why It Works:

  • Inclusive Access delivery models break that cycle by consolidating purchases to achieve lower prices.
  • Because of lower overall logistical and production costs, digital course content is by nature less expensive than the ever escalating prices of printed textbooks. It can be provided without quantity restrictions, with zero shipping and storage costs, and can be updated easily, guaranteeing every student access to the latest academic content.
  • Through the Inclusive Access program, each participating course essentially becomes a buying group acquiring the content through a single source, so publishers are willing to negotiate much lower prices than they can for print materials.
  • Deferred payment also allows students to use their financial aid instead of credit cards and ends the educational disenfranchisement of waitlisted students waiting to purchase their course materials.
  • In just its first year, the program saved UC Davis students over $1 million while providing them day-one access to adaptive and interactive course content which has been shown to improve educational outcomes. UC Davis sees an over 90% satisfaction rate with Inclusive Access.
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