AMBASSADOR IN ACTION
At Ambassador, course materials accessibility meets affordability. We create and manage customized content integration programs that connect students with resources in the most meaningful and effective way, driving down costs and improving outcomes.
We simplify the adoption, management and delivery of textbooks, eBooks, digital resources, custom content, OER, access codes, online testing, supplies, kits, devices, rentals, school logo merchandise and more, including buybacks. Our total integrated management approach makes the course materials lifecycle more efficient, provides an exceptional student experience, and lowers your operational and financial risk. Through our advanced supply chain software, flexible fulfillment processes, and highly available support services, ordering course materials is intuitive, delivery is automatic, and reporting is seamless.
We engineer, develop and manage the entire course materials acquisition, distribution and reporting process so your students have timely access to resources; your faculty can customize curriculum; and your administrative team can gain key insights to manage, measure and improve outcomes.
Intuitive system design helps your students navigate the ordering process, while our adoption tools help you and your faculty select the right content. Plus you have a team of client services professionals, technology gurus, traffic managers, warehouse personnel, and merchandise managers at your service.
We purchase your materials in advance from your preferred publishers and suppliers and build your dedicated inventory in our warehouses, eliminating your inventory carrying costs; our Ambassador-All-Access system drives down prices for digital materials; and our expert team manages nearly all administrative tasks.
Course materials programs are evolving, and there is a reason so many institutions turn to us to support their content ecosystems of the future. At Ambassador, we value innovation and its role in propelling our solutions to the next level so we can reduce the cost of course materials, increase options and help improve student outcomes. We value connections, putting the right resources in students’ hands, at the right time and at the right price. Finally, we value our client partners and the relationships we have built, collectively improving the education experience and supporting student success.
materials in inventory, delivered "just in time"
right student, right materials, at the right time
dedication to your institution and students
Two of the biggest challenges facing educators are costs and outcomes – how can they provide an education experience that is affordable and results-driven? At Ambassador, we merge innovations with ideas, helping faculty adopt the most relevant learning materials, delivering them through a highly engaging and supportive environment, making sure all students have their materials at the right time, and pledging to do so in an extremely cost-effective manner.
Here is how we handle it…
SOLUTIONS THAT PASS THE TEST
Our innovative approach and advanced technologies help individual schools and large campus networks simplify the adoption, management and delivery of all course materials, resulting in programs that foster student choice, accessibility and affordability. Your institution can deliver an optimized student learning experience and extensive faculty and student support, while also maintaining control and streamlining costs.
Powering Course Materials
Our proprietary supply chain technology drives all aspects of the sourcing, procurement, warehousing and distribution process so your students can receive materials when they need them, in time for the first day of class. We maintain and monitor your school’s inventory leveraging our total inventory management system and we implement the most comprehensive digital content initiatives. Additionally, our solutions prevent duplicate orders, and we even handle buybacks for textbooks. Safeguards and quality controls ensure accurate fulfillment, and we can accommodate both “tuition-pay” or “student-pay” models, including school authorized vouchers. We also assist you in satisfying opt-out compliance policies when course materials are provided to students automatically. Our course materials management services leverage the capabilities and technologies of our flexible bookstore service models, including:
We custom-design your online bookstore website branded with your logo and colors. Students can easily login to your online bookstore or leverage one of our Single Sign-On options 24x7x365 to view a list of required and optional materials, place their order, and pay for their purchase by credit card or school voucher. Digital materials are automatically added to the student’s LMS or electronic bookshelf. Print materials and other non-book items are shipped to either the student’s address or the school’s address, as specified, which is verified prior to shipment. Each student’s order shipped to the school is labeled for convenient student pick up at your will call location.
Students automatically receive all required course materials without any involvement on their part prior to class start. Digital materials are automatically added to the student’s LMS or electronic bookshelf and are available on the date of your choice. Print materials and other non-book items are shipped to the address specified by the school, which can be the student’s home or workplace, or the school itself, where each student’s order has been labeled for convenient student pick up. Addresses are verified prior to shipping. Students receive an email confirmation notifying them that their materials are on the way or available through the LMS or on their electronic bookshelf.
Brick & Mortar
We custom-design an on premise bookstore branded for your school. We manage all staffing and overhead, including dedicated store managers, additional staff during peak periods, point-of-sale system and software, and fixtures, as well as managing print inventory and digital resources.
For institutions that want to keep a physical presence to connect with students, yet want to avoid inventory logistics and costs, our Hybrid Model offers the best of both worlds for print and digital content offerings. Students turn to the online bookstore for easy and affordable access to course materials, which can be shipped to them or the institution, or automatically added to their LMS or electronic bookshelf. Students also still have the option to visit your on-campus bookstore for auxiliary or school logo items. Learn more about merging the convenience of an online store with the importance of an on-campus community in our white paper, “Should Your Campus Bookstore Sell Books?”
For institutions that prefer to manage course materials distribution to students themselves, Ambassador aggregates all of your print course materials purchases and delivers them in bulk to your institution where your team then distributes items to students. Digital materials are automatically added to the student’s LMS or electronic bookshelf. Ambassador manages all purchase orders, vendor invoices and payments, and provides your school with one consolidated invoice.
Our proprietary supply chain software, SourceOne, administers all course materials transactions, inventory management, and digital content offerings. Flexible enough to adapt to your processes, yet powerful enough to scale across your campuses, SourceOne integrates with your SIS, LMS and Digital Content Platform. SourceOne matches your student information with course materials requirements, giving you the administrative power to monitor and manage booklist selection, student and faculty adoptions, inventory visibility, and transactions for digital and print materials. SourceOne also manages student spending limits, and posts transactions to the student ledger for voucher purchases. Through real-time reporting and forecasting, you gain critical insights and analysis into purchases, reassignments, returns, financial holds, rush orders and more.
We accelerate course materials accessibility, expediting the timeframe in which students receive course materials so they are more prepared and poised to succeed. With Ambassador-All-Access, students automatically receive digital, print and other course materials in time for the first day of class, plus they have the option to opt-out. Automated distribution of materials lowers costs and improves convenience. Ambassador-All-Access is yet another way we are working with schools to connect students with their course materials in the most effective and affordable way possible.
We manage the entire digital content roll-out process – from digital implementation to digital fulfillment to digital administrative management. Our Digital Advantage solution provides Single Sign-On access or automatic fulfillment to simplify the process of delivering eBooks, access codes, labs, online testing, and other interactive digital resources. Our knowledgeable team helps you develop a digital content strategy that aligns with your goals, supports your learners, and evolves as your needs and objectives change. We assist you in the selection of your Digital Content Platform and digital materials, manage licenses, and plan for scheduling and communication. We also work with the publishers to secure eBook access, and collect and manage digital content. Ambassador helps develop the distribution model to facilitate “student choice” (student selects print or eBook preference) or “opt out” (students receive eBook with ability to exchange for print). Analytics enable you to gauge student digital materials usage, study habits and time, course progress and more. Digital Advantage is integrated with all of our service models and leading Digital Content Platforms. Learn more about student choice in our white paper, “eBooks and Printed Textbooks: The Value of Student Choice“
We manage the entire digital and Print-On-Demand (POD) process, giving students who purchase an eBook or other digital resource the option to also order a low-cost, professionally printed version. We work with the publishers to secure eBook access, collect and manage digital content, securely store and process it, verify student eligibility, facilitate student orders and payment, report transactions to publishers, and professionally print and ship it. Digital Advantage with POD gives students more options and flexibility in the way they access their course materials.
Content Lab allows educators to assemble the right resources, which can save time and money, advance curriculum and improve outcomes. Our expert team can guide your school and faculty in finding and recommending relevant and meaningful content, or you can bring resources together on your own, creating robust, customized collections of digital and print materials. We assemble and curate content for you to align with your teaching and learning objectives, helping you select from Open Education Resources (OER), web articles, blogs, images, videos and publisher content, as well as your school’s or a professor’s own content. Custom course packs are readily accessible and more affordable as Ambassador custom prints your content or converts it to a digital resource, as well as manages distribution through our flexible bookstore service models.
We understand that each institution is unique, each with its own academic methodologies, business strategies and technical resources. Our Advisory Services consultants, many of whom hail from colleges and universities, ensure your institution has the proper roles and operational processes in place in order to maximize the student experience, simplify administrative tasks and establish a successful program. We can assist with establishing and aligning your short- and long-term goals, and create a roadmap to get you there. Additionally, through our Content Lab, we can suggest course materials and resource combinations that can lead to improved learning outcomes. Based on an analysis of your school’s data in combination with future projections, we recommend product mix and/or service model adjustments so you can keep pace with student preferences, making course materials as affordable and accessible as possible.
We take the hassle away from schools and publishers having to manage the desk copy acquisition process themselves. DeskCopy-Connect authenticates a faculty member’s credentials for a desk copy, and then automatically delivers the necessary data to the publishers to authorize and provision the textbook. Our no-duplicate order feature ensures that each faculty receives only one copy. Additionally, faculty can request an eBook desk copy for select texts through our Digital Advantage solution.
Do your students access publisher direct content? If so, let Ambassador take the guesswork out of publisher direct content fees. Contact us to learn about our Pub PinPoint technology.
Ambassador’s publisher partnerships present a variety of services that improve the connection between institutions and their content providers. For publishers, our reporting portal, Publisher Passport, allows vendors to run reports on-demand and in real-time to view materials transactions, product sales trends and more. Additionally, our material inventory forecasting system helps publishers plan print runs and maintain inventory levels. We also work with the publishers to secure eBook access, collect and manage digital content, securely store and process it, verify student eligibility for PODs, and report transactions. For institutions, our purchasing system streamlines the process of ordering course materials. We manage publisher invoices and payments and provide each school with a simple consolidated invoice.
COMMUNICATE. SHARE. EXPEDITE.
Our technologies are integrated with your institution’s existing software and applications to allow for efficient two-way communications, accurate data sharing and expedited processes. Integrating with leading SIS, LMS, Digital Content Platforms and Publishers, we give students seamless access to course materials through Single Sign-On functionality, while providing administrators with key insights and intelligence to manage, measure and improve programs and outcomes.
Student Information Systems (SIS)
SourceOne interacts with your school’s SIS to integrate student registration information and bookstore transactions. Our partners include Campus Management (Campus Link Ambassador/CLA), DiamondD, Banner, and others, including school proprietary, in-house systems.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
Integrations with leading LMS and student portal providers, including Blackboard, Angel, Moodle, Desire2Learn, Canvas, Comcourse and others, provides students with Single Sign-On access to the Online Bookstore or their Digital Advantage bookshelf.
Digital Content Platforms
We assist your team with selecting the most appropriate Digital Content Platform in order to facilitate the integration. Our Digital Advantage is already integrated with several established platforms, including VitalSource.
We maintain strong relationships with all publishers, providing access to both print and digital course materials. Our partners include Cengage Learning, Elsevier, McGraw Hill, Pearson, Wiley, Jones and Bartlett, FA Davis, EMC Paradigm, Planning Shop, Sage, Taylor and Francis, and more.
DATA ANALYTIC SERVICES
WORK SMART. SPEND SMARTER.
Our proprietary analytics technology gives you easy access to relevant data so you can apply it in meaningful and actionable ways. After all if you can’t measure your programs, you can’t effectively manage them. Because our solutions integrate with your LMS, SIS, and Digital Content Platform, data is easier to access and manage, and you gain greater visibility into course materials trends, usage and metrics.
We will help you gain deeper insight into your course materials and content integration programs, helping you collect and act on information so you can maximize resources and streamline your processes, while saving time and money. For example, our data analytics can help you expedite student account and invoice reconciliations, and ultimately revenue recognition.
Our technology integrations align student registration information and course materials transactions, increasing data accuracy and reducing data redundancy. You will see exactly what materials students are using and how much students are spending, which will help you forecast titles and usage. You can drill down by type of resource, and precisely estimate costs.
Our solutions include functionality to satisfy the Higher Education Opportunity Act, Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, and Pell Grant Program Integrity Final Rules. We also help institutions comply with student opt-out policies as part of the DOE’s Final Rule amending certain Program Integrity and Improvement Regulations as it pertains to course materials, including communicating with students, managing requests, calculating reimbursements and completing the opt-out cycle. We maintain SSAE16 SOC I Type II compliance for data security, and help schools leverage data to prove compliance (for example, using student spending data to predict Cost of Attendance).
Ambassador’s responsiveness and flexibility have been exceptional as the System’s three school brands have evolved over our decade long partnership. When the System’s three independent schools merged into the singular, regionally accredited Sullivan University, the Ambassador team went to great lengths to make sure all students of the larger, more dynamic University had uninterrupted access to their course materials.
— Sullivan University
We put students at the center of everything we do, and we select vendors who share our student-first philosophy. Ambassador fits this mold, and then some. Ambassador’s eBooksPlus service is not only easy for students to use, but it gives them flexibility and choice in how they like to access their course materials.
— Post University
We used another course materials platform in the past and we even tried bringing the operation in house, but nothing really worked the way we wanted it to until we brought in Ambassador… The Ambassador team was incredibly thorough in getting us up and running quickly, and they continue to be flexible and responsive, accommodating last minute changes, unique requests and/or trouble-shooting without hesitation.
— Salisbury School
When we transitioned to Ambassador, your team had big shoes to fill, replacing a course materials provider that had a long-standing record of accomplishment in the traditional school space. You did this all so effortlessly. Under Ambassador’s guidance, we have not only seen measurable improvements, we have built a bookstore and course materials operation that works, relying on your superb technology and committed support team.
— Global Education Provider
Ambassador made the process of switching providers seamless, delivering a straightforward, guided and comprehensive transition. Ambassador’s solutions and technologies have elevated our course materials program to the next level, streamlining our operations, helping our financial oversight, and easing course materials acquisition for our students.
— Triangle Tech
Our account representatives at Ambassador are really an extension of our own team. They have an intimate understanding of our operations and our goals and they believe in open and regular communication. Ambassador is a stellar example of what it means to be a partner and not just another vendor.
— Centura College
Our partnership with Ambassador strengthens our shared goal to support the changing dynamics of the market and the needs of today’s learners, who need more affordable learning options.
When I reflect on our partnership with Ambassador, what stands out the most is our mutual commitment to innovation and our shared motivation to deliver effective, affordable and accessible learning materials. Ambassador is an integral part of the course materials ecosystem and its impressive technology and solutions are helping schools integrate the right kinds of resources in the learning experience and empowering students to succeed in their academic pursuits.
— McGraw Hill Education
Improving operational processes for colleges and universities is a key priority for us, and the seamless transfer of information between our system and Ambassador’s does just that. We share a vision for helping schools not only do things more efficiently, but more effectively too.
— Campus Management
Ambassador’s technologies, processes and quality controls for managing both print and digital content programs are impressive. Its team works tirelessly to help schools of all sizes customize content programs that make the most sense for their students, whether it is evolving to 100% digital delivery, or creating programs where students and schools choose their content method.
Ambassador has made a tremendous investment, both financially and operationally, to help shape and secure students’ academic and professional futures. Not only have its contributions to our scholarship fund created incredible opportunities for students to learn and achieve, but its technology and innovative mindset are moving the education industry forward in measurable ways.
—Imagine America Foundation
NEWS & EVENTS
The once traditional bookstore has taken on a much different meaning as course materials acquisition advances at a rapid pace. In a world where choice, convenience and cost reign supreme for students, schools are rethinking and revising their bookstore models. In an...read more
By Stuart Grinell, Vice President of Business Development at Ambassador Schools of all types from all sectors continue to supplement print textbooks with digital course materials. Using eBooks, access codes, direct content, digital homework, courseware and study...read more
by Nichole Karpel and Bruce Schneider | Monday, December 10, 2018 Original Publication: https://er.educause.edu/articles/2018/12/oer-cost-assessment-strategies Open educational resources (OER) have been on the horizon in higher...read more