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UMBC Affordable Course Materials Initiative Policy

The goals of the Course Materials Initiative (CMI) are to (1) provide students as a whole with more affordable course materials, (2) enhance the students’ experience on a common digital platform via Blackboard, and (3) position UMBC to be ahead of the curve with digital content. Through direct contract negotiations with publishers, UMBC has leveraged the bargaining power of all students enrolled in courses using CMI to provide students with reduced pricing at or below competitive market rates.

The CMI was developed to benefit students by offering:

  • More affordable course materials for students as a whole
  • Access to your course materials by the first day of class; you get the right stuff, right when you need it.
  • Extended access to course materials - the access period for the eBook is three (3) years and the access period for the ancillary codes is 1-2 years depending on the ancillary (for example, the access period for ALEKS is 1 year and WebAssign is 2 years).
  • The ability to pay via your student bill, just like tuition. A course materials charge will be included on all registered students’ tuition bill for the courses in this program. This allows you to use budget billing for your course materials! A student may decline to obtain their course materials for courses using CMI by going to the UMBC Bookstore’s Textbook Unit and completing the Consent for CMI Removal Form no later than the last day of the Add/Drop period; Bookstore staff will be available to answer any questions you have about the CMI program.
  • Common digital format – say goodbye to heavy backpacks & bulky books, and feel good about this environmentally-friendly alternative. (Don’t worry there are print options available for those who want it.)
  • Access to your course materials wherever and whenever. Once you download the Bookshelf app, you can download your eBook to any of your mobile devices and access it anywhere – even without a connection! You can study using up to 4 devices; go from your desktop, to your laptop, to your iPad/ Kindle, to your Android/iPhone.
  • Single sign-on. Tired of having to log into multiple sites to access your course materials? This Initiative makes that problem go away. When you enroll in a CMI course, an ADA compliant, common digital format of your textbook and ancillaries, such as Aleks or WebAssign, automatically uploads onto your Blackboard account.

For more information on CMI including FAQ’s, see the Bookstore’s CMI webpage at

This policy is effective for course registrations starting in the fall 2016 semester.  
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