U.S. colleges choosing Cengage Unlimited subscription service

October 14, 2019 | Cengage

A growing number of college leaders across the U.S. are choosing to offer Cengage Unlimited campus-wide in order to give their students more affordable access to textbooks and course materials. While students at more than 5,000 institutions can purchase Cengage Unlimited, more than 70 institutions are delivering the subscription service at-scale through a model called Cengage Unlimited Institutional.

A Cengage Unlimited subscription gives students access to more than 22,000 products, including eBooks, online homework access codes and study guides for one price, no matter how many materials they use. The subscription also includes free access to college success and career support; including activities in resume-building, financial literacy, time management and more. A subscription also includes the services Dashlane, Evernote, Kaplan, Quizlet and Chegg.

Launched in August 2018, more than one million Cengage Unlimited subscriptions have been sold. Total student savings are expected to reach $160 million by the end of this academic year.

With Cengage Unlimited Institutional, students and faculty benefit from day-one access to their Cengage content and technology through the university’s learning management system (LMS). Faculty support services include course set-up and LMS integration, and personalized training and assistance. Institutional leaders benefit from curriculum services, marketing support, training, migration and data services.

“Cengage Unlimited Institutional works for all types of schools – from small community colleges and career schools to large university systems, both public and private – because there is a need for an affordable, scalable solution at virtually every higher ed institution,” said Fernando Bleichmar, EVP and General Manager, Higher Education and Skills at Cengage. “Partners are beginning to see Cengage Unlimited as a competitive advantage, recognizing early signs of increased enrollment numbers, graduation rates and student engagement after just the first year.”

Breaking the Affordability Barrier

 Leaders at Iowa Western Community College, a public institution with about 4,000 students, realized they could take an active role in addressing affordability campus-wide with Cengage. “I have concerns when I hear about the number of students that aren’t buying books, faculty that are upset because students are not successful in class, because they don’t have books—and realize this is something we can control,” said Dr. Marjorie Welch, Vice President for Academic Affairs at the college.

Hocking College, a public two-year institution in Ohio, faced the same challenge. “The one variable that continued to be an issue for us was the cost of learning materials – textbooks or other kinds of materials,” said Dr. Betty Young, President of Hocking College.

Hocking College instituted an all-inclusive model for Fall 2019 where incoming freshman pay one fee per semester for all their materials, including Cengage Unlimited. Dr. Young encourages others in higher education to address affordability and sees this work as something that “really changes not just Hocking College but changes the way we as an industry think about what we’re doing when it comes to higher education.”

This model is also easily implemented across large systems like the University of Missouri system, where President Mun Choi says they’re “fully engaged on battling the problem of student debt.” The system’s 40,000 students are expected to save $3 million annually with Cengage Unlimited Institutional.

Supporting the “Whole Student” for Success in the Classroom and Beyond

Concorde College, a healthcare-focused career school with campuses in eight states, found that Cengage Unlimited Institutional allowed their students to have access to their materials beyond the semester, an important component given their students need to review materials before taking board exams.

“Getting students affordable access to quality material is a critical first step, however providing resources that support the whole student through to graduation and career is just as important,” continued Bleichmar.

In addition to course material, Cengage Unlimited includes college success and career support tools.

Dr. Welch said faculty are excited about the potential Cengage Unlimited offers in savings, “but [faculty are] also very excited about the expansive number of resources that will be available to them and their students.”

Making an Impact

Warren County Community College, a small rural two-year school in New Jersey, moved to Cengage Unlimited Institutional in January 2019 and has seen improved graduation rates since implementing the subscription.

“We’ve seen upticks in graduation already in just one semester and I suspect that I will finally pass the elusive 50% mark that the American Association of Community Colleges set as a goal for us all,” said Dr. William Austin, President of Warren County Community College. “I truly believe that [Cengage Unlimited Institutional] is going to be the thing that finally gets us over that hurdle.”

Cengage and leaders from Warren County Community College will discuss key learnings from implementing Cengage Unlimited Institutional in a session, titled “Ch-Ch-Changes: Navigating Change with Faculty at Scale,” at the Educause conference on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Cengage product leaders will also host a session on data-driven decision-making, titled “Creating a Culture of Data-Informed Decision-Making – Changing Team Culture to Get Solid Data,” on Thursday, Oct 17.

To learn more about Cengage Unlimited Institutional, visit https://www.cengage.com/institutional/unlimited/, or stop by the Cengage booth #1635 at Educause in Chicago from Oct. 14-17.

About Cengage

Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. As the largest US-based provider of teaching and learning materials for higher education, we offer valuable options at affordable price points. Our industry-leading initiatives include Cengage Unlimited, the first-of-its-kind all-access digital subscription service.  We embrace innovation to create learning experiences that build confidence and momentum toward the future students want. Headquartered in Boston, Cengage also serves K-12, library and workforce training markets around the world. Visit us at www.cengage.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

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