College of DuPage Partners with OpenStax to Increase Use of Free Textbooks

By: Angela Mennecke

Openstax partnership

The high cost of traditional textbooks not only impacts students’ access to college but also their ability to complete coursework. A new partnership aims to reduce those textbook and course material costs for College of DuPage students.

OpenStax, a Rice University initiative committed to improving access to quality learning materials, selected nine institutions including College of DuPage for the 2019-2020 OpenStax Institutional Partnership Program, which encourages use of free, high-quality, peer-reviewed textbooks, referred to as “open educational resources” (OER).

OER eliminate cost barriers for students and allow unrestricted, immediate access to learning materials, increasing the likelihood for students to complete their courses successfully, College of DuPage President Dr. Brian Caputo said.

"College affordability is extremely important to our students, and this partnership will support the College’s efforts to remove financial hurdles and provide instant access to educational materials," he said.

OpenStax will provide the College with individualized consulting, strategic planning services, training and support as well as access to their free textbooks. According to OpenStax, the institutions that join as institutional partners increase on average the number of students impacted by 158 percent after completing the first year of the program. To date, the program has resulted in $19.6 million of additional student savings from OER.

College of DuPage Provost Dr. Mark Curtis-Chávez believes the impact for students at the College will be significant.

“The use of open educational resources and other innovative tools that community colleges can employ will help drive student success and reduce their financial burden,” he said.

For more information on COD’s OER initiative, contact COD Reference Librarian Denise Cote at (630) 942-2092 or cotede@cod.edu.

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 25,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants seven associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.