Cost cuts with online learning

 printed in the Brainerd Dispatch and earlier in the Washington Post on the high cost of textbooks struck a chord with me. Why? I completely agree that students are spending too much on textbooks. 

The heavy burden of buying college textbooks is only becoming more difficult for students right here at home and across the nation. That’s why Central Lakes College is doing something about it.

We’re embracing Open Educational Resources (OER) to provide students access to free materials online.  Our goal: A student can earn an AA Degree at CLC with little to no textbook cost.

This will lift an enormous burden from our students. The projected textbook savings for CLC students through 2018 is $348,000. That amount is expected to climb into the millions of dollars in savings in the future. And that savings will also benefit our high school’s partners participating in CLC’s College in the Schools program, as well as our PSEO students. 

To help us reach our vision, a team of students, faculty and administrators is working hard to get us there. 

CLC first shined a light on the high cost of textbooks a couple of years ago, bringing our thoughts to the Minnesota State system. CLC was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from Minnesota State to move forward and promote the use of OER on campus. 

Today, we’re leading the state with this effort, with other colleges and universities approaching us for guidance on rolling out a similar effort. 

One textbook at a time, we’re trying to make earning a college education more affordable for everyone, because no matter your background or situation, we want every dream to be within reach.



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