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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Inclusive textbooks help save money

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The Collegian Logo

By Kathryn Kelman/editor-in-chief

TCC will pilot a new inclusive access textbook model starting this spring with 23 classes.

The college hopes to reduce the cost of learning materials for students and get the resources they need to be successful in their hands on the first day of classes, procurement executive director Michael Herndon said.

“The Inclusive Access Program is a new textbook model in collaboration with top publishers that will provide textbooks and associated learning materials to students digitally through the college’s learning management system [Blackboard],” Herndon said.

A majority of the content students will have access to will include interactive materials that allow them to take their learning experience beyond a typical textbook, he said.

“The cost of the materials are included when you register for the course, so no need to go to the bookstore to purchase materials,” Herndon said.

Students can opt out and purchase their materials like normal, but through the program, the cost of course materials is typically half the cost of traditional textbooks, Herndon said.

“If students do opt out, the cost of materials will be credited or refunded from their account,” he said. “Students would then have to source the materials needed either from the college bookstore or another source.”

For students that prefer a physical book rather than a digital one, a low-cost print option will also be available in the bookstore for a majority of the courses in the program, he said.

“The print book, which will generally be in the $20 range, will be paid for at the bookstore if the student decides they really want a printed text to go along with the digital content,” Herndon said.

The cost of taking one of the 23 courses in the program next spring will be assessed when students register for the course and then the cost of the course is posted to their account, according to the program’s information page on TCC’s website.

Students can also make payments on the digital materials just like they do for their tuition. And if they have financial aid, it can cover the cost of the materials too, according to the website.

The program was framed and implemented with the three A’s in mind, said TR computer science professor and former Joint Consultation Committee chair Tyson McMillan. The three A’s stand for access, affordability and achievement.

Access stands for digital access on day one of class, affordability means helping students access materials at the best cost and reducing textbook costs by around 40 percent and achievement means student success, which the pilot will measure by comparing the success of students who have access to course materials digitally on day one to students who do not, McMillan said.

“Students should know we’ve really been working hard on this,” McMillan said. “We began this almost a year ago.”

McMillan believes the program will strongly benefit TCC staff, students, faculty and administration, he said.

“We hope, from this pilot, that these 23 classes will give us the data we need to help the decision makers make the best decision about where we go from here,” he said. “And so I’m excited about that.”

McMillan hopes students will give the program a chance, he said.

“This is the first time we’ve thought about doing a model like this at TCC,” he said. “So I ask that the students be generous with the faculty members as we try to work out the kinks.”

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