College is a pricy endeavor today, but at least one community college is looking for a way to help students cut the cost of a college education. Tidewater Community College
in Virginia has announced plans to debut a textbook-free degree program next year. College officials estimate the pilot program could cut the cost of the degree by as much as a third by the time graduation rolls around.
Learning Business without Textbooks
The Richmond-Times Dispatch
reports that Tidewater Community College will be offering an associate of science degree in business administration this fall that will require no textbook purchases throughout the program. Instead, students will use open-source educational materials, known as OER, which they will be able to access through the school’s learning management system on smart phones or tablets. The college will be the first to offer a complete degree program without any textbooks required.
The program was developed as a partnership between Tidewater Community College and Lumen Learning; an Oregon-based company that helps schools across the country incorporate OERs into their learning plans. The founder of Lumen, David Wiley, has advocated for open-education for the past 15 years, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education
. However, no school has been open to the concept of a completely textbook-free degree program until now.
“It’s frustrating to watch these resources keep getting created, and then watch nobody use them and the students get no benefit,” Wiley stated at The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The Textbook Zero Model
The company developed the first...read more