The CIO Minute: Textbook Costs as an Equity Issue [video]

min read

The affordability of textbooks can be a question of access to education.

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Michael Mills
Vice President of the Office of E-Learning, Innovation and Teaching Excellence (ELITE)
Montgomery College

We're very focused on offering courses that do not require students to purchase a textbook at Montgomery College. We have saved students over the past couple of semesters about $2.5 million in textbook costs. Our faculty have bought into that. Our students have certainly bought into that initiative because we know and they know that it's a way for them to improve their educational outcomes but also, to improve their daily existence. Taking that money and reinvesting it into a number of different aspects.

We see our Open Educational Resource Project as an equity issue, as a social justice issue. So, students do have access to the material the first day of class. They don't have to wait for financial aid cheques to clear, three weeks into the semester. They don't have to wait for a credit card. Some of our students don't have access to a credit card, where they can just go purchase a textbook the first day of class. So, it really is a social-justice issue at Montgomery College.