Stark State College’s Affordable Learning Initiatives
Stark State College is dedicated to making affordability a priority for our students. The College’s Textbook Affordability Committee (comprised of librarians, faculty, staff, and bookstore and e-learning representatives) has been in place for two years discussing strategies and piloting initiatives to reduce the cost of textbooks. The committee is charged with collaborating and determining opportunities for reducing the financial impact to students from the cost of their course materials. One outcome of the committee efforts has been the bookstore regularly conducts price negotiations with publishers for best pricing. These strategic negotiations have reduced margins on higher priced textbooks.
Open Educational Resources
Stark State was an early supporter of OER with its first adoption of the Open Stax open-source textbook for Sociology courses in January 2013. This single open-source textbook adoption has resulted in saving Stark State College students over $912,000. Stark State e-learning staff and librarians work diligently with faculty to assist in finding credible OER sources to expand their teaching options (while saving students money).
Stark State is proud to be an active member in the Ohio Open Ed Collaborative. As a part of this grant, Stark State faculty have worked on both the content and review teams for Writing I & II, various math classes, public speaking, and American History and have adopted, adapted, or created educational materials available for use in Ohio college and university classrooms.
Additionally, Stark State’s bookstore worked with a publisher to establish an inclusive access course as a pilot in Summer semester 2018 in astronomy. This course now has three semesters of IA enrollment and has saved 200 students $17,600 in overall cost savings. The college is expanding its IA with the addition of eight additional courses scheduled for Summer semester 2019 including math, student success course, and developmental reading. Several of these are general education courses therefore cost savings is expected to be substantial.
The college bookstore works with wholesale and publisher partners to negotiate prices for students. The bookstore makes sure there are always choices for students to accommodate their learning styles and their budgets from ebooks, rentals, and loose leaf options. Used textbook availability has been expanded through open-source buying.