Inclusive Access Copiah Lincoln Community College

Pearson Inclusive Access study highlights increased outcomes at Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Key Findings

  • Graduation rates have increased eight percentage points and retention rates have increased ten percentage points after the implementation of Pearson Inclusive Access.
  • Student success rates in gateway mathematics courses have increased 17 percentage points with Inclusive Access in place.
  • A comparative analysis of traditional textbook package prices and Inclusive Access costs indicate that students save an average of 68% off traditional prices when using Inclusive Access course materials.

School name
Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Wesson, MS

Fall 2012–Spring 2018

Stephanie Duguid, Dean of Academic Instruction

Results reported by
Dina Yankelewitz, Pearson Enterprise Analytics Manager


Copiah-Lincoln Community College began in 1915 as an agricultural high school to serve the Copiah and Lincoln counties in rural Mississippi. As it transitioned to a junior college, five additional surrounding counties added their support. It is currently a two-year college serving over 3,000 students. About 55% of students are White, 42% are Black or African American, and 1% are Hispanic. Only 10% of its students live on campus, and 68% attend part-time. The college offers Associate degrees and certificates across 25 fields.

Challenges and Goals

According to Dr. Stephanie Duguid, Dean of Academic Instruction, a key motivator for transitioning to Pearson Inclusive Access at Copiah-Lincoln Community College (Co-Lin) was improving the success rates of developmental students. Nearly 1,000 students participate in developmental courses annually, and instructors were concerned that many students did not acquire the course materials in a timely fashion. They reported that students typically did not have course materials by the first day of class, and only 30% had purchased the materials by the end of the first week of the semester. In addition to lack of motivation, many of these students had to wait for financial aid funding to provide them with the means to purchase the course text. With Inclusive Access, students would automatically receive access to digital course materials by the first day of class at a significantly lower price.


In Spring 2013, Co-Lin implemented Inclusive Access in its eight developmental and college-level mathematics courses, as well as in developmental reading and writing courses. All students received instant access to course materials by the first day of the semester. In the mathematics courses, which had historically used MyLab™ Math with an accompanying print textbook, the college chose to implement Pearson MyLab Math with its accompanying digital text. Co-Lin partnered with VitalSource to deliver the eTexts to students, which allows for the eText to be delivered via the school’s Learning Management System.

There are currently three options within the Inclusive Access program at Co-Lin. Some courses offer all-digital resources, which may include eResources (e.g., Pearson MyLab or Mastering) and/or an eText. These courses are typically delivered in a computer lab to provide students with access to the course materials. Other courses require students to purchase the low-cost looseleaf print text and provide access to an eResource as well. Finally, some courses offer a digital hybrid delivery of materials, wherein students access the eResource, an eText via VitalSource, and also have the option of a print, looseleaf text. This option is used most in the sciences, where students usually benefit from retaining a copy of the course materials for future reference.

As a three-campus school, administrators are careful to ensure that all courses across the three locations receive the same resources. As Inclusive Access was implemented, together with increased use of eResources, administrators took steps to make certain that each division transitioned to the new materials and modes of delivery together.

As word of the new initiative’s success spread, additional divisions adopted the model, including science and the Career and Technical Program. Although the initiative began with only 14 courses, it quickly grew to include 72 courses in 2017, or 59% of the 124 courses offered at the college.

Results and Data


Overall results
Instructors experiencing the transition to Inclusive Access reported that until Inclusive Access was introduced, nearly all students were unprepared for the first day of class. Only 30% of students had access to course materials by the end of the first week of the semester. In contrast, with Inclusive Access in place, 100% of students had access to course materials on the first day of the semester.

Student outcomes

Graduation and retention
IPEDS data indicate that between 2012 and 2015, retention and graduation rates at Co-Lin have increased dramatically. Retention is up 10 percentage points, from 48% to 58%, and graduation rates have increased 8 percentage points, from 36% to 44%. Dr. Duguid believes that Inclusive Access has played a role in these increased outcomes.

Inclusive Access has contributed to the increased graduation and retention rates at Copiah-Lincoln.

—Stephanie Duguid, Dean of Academic Instruction, Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Gateway course results
Developmental mathematics course results improved dramatically since Inclusive Access was implemented. As can be seen in figure 1, overall success in these courses improved 17 percentage points. Notably, this change is overwhelmingly represented in the percentage of students receiving As in the course (figure 2).

Developmental math course success

Figure 1. Developmental Math Success Rates, Fall 2012 without Inclusive Access (n=849) and Fall 2017 with Inclusive Access (n=602)

Developmental math grade distribution

Figure 2. Developmental Math Grade Distribution, Fall 2012 without Inclusive Access (n=849) and Fall 2017 with Inclusive Access (n=602)

Cost savings

In a comparative analysis of the cost of traditional course materials vs. Inclusive Access materials in four high-enrollment courses, students saved an average of 68% off the traditional textbook or package price. This translates to individual student savings of $1,070 on course materials for only four courses (table 1).

Sample cost savings

Traditional Package Price Inclusive Access Price Savings Percent Savings

Calculus Series

$475 $210 $265 56%

Computer Concepts





Anatomy and Physiology





World Civilization






$1,575 $505 $1070


Table 1. Comparison of Student Cost Between Traditional and Inclusive Access Course Materials

Bookstore sustainability

As students shifted to using digital materials, the bookstore has seen that shift in their revenue sources as well. Interestingly, the overall revenue from textbook and eResource purchases has not changed significantly since Inclusive Access has been implemented. Rather, there has been a change in the proportion of revenue reported from print textbooks and from eResources, as shown in figure 3. The increased sell-through enabled by Inclusive Access has helped the bookstore stay afloat in spite of the dramatically lowered cost of course materials.

Bookstore revenue

Figure 3. Bookstore Revenue in 2013–2014 without Inclusive Access and in 2017–2018 with Inclusive Access

The Administrator Experience

Dr. Duguid, who has been involved in the initiative since its inception, has learned that effective and consistent communication, as well as involvement of all stakeholders from the start, is critical to the success of the model. The technology and business departments are key players in the implementation; keeping everyone informed of the upcoming changes allows for smoother semester starts and fewer hiccups.

In addition to communicating the upcoming changes and ensuring that faculty and students are aware and supportive of the new mode of course material delivery, consistent and accurate communication eliminates unnecessary confusion or misunderstandings. At the start of the implementation, Co-Lin referred to the digital materials as “eBooks.” As a result, students erroneously assumed that they were being provided with only an electronic version of the print textbook. Administrators then educated stakeholders to use the term “eResource” to correct this misconception.

Instructors now include an eResource statement in course syllabi that informs students of the terms of the eResource arrangement so that there is no confusion as to how they are charged for the course materials. Students have the option to opt-out of the eResource option, but are told that they will not be able to access equivalent or appropriate resources for the course elsewhere.


Administrators and instructors at Copiah-Lincoln Community College appreciate the increased affordability of and immediate access to course materials that Inclusive Access has consistently enabled across multiple campuses and departments. At the same time, student outcomes in gateway mathematics courses have dramatically increased, and student retention and graduation have likewise improved across the college.