Mid Michigan College finds a way to save students money on textbook costs

Mid Michigan College is trying to make learning easier and more accessible.

The school has embraced the concept of open educational resources, or OER, saving its students over half a million dollars in text book costs so far. The OER concept makes textbooks, content, and other learning supplies free and accessible to students.

"Mid’s goal was to reduce the cost of textbooks for students, and OER provided a framework for us to achieve that," says Shaelynn Long-Kish, Associate Dean of Online Learning.

"OER is free to students, allowing them to focus on what is most important--their education. Students really appreciate that we understand the importance of keeping costs down. They can spend the money they would use for textbooks on more important things."

Mid’s OER efforts began in 2016. It has since been picked up by several departments, including math, speech, English, Spanish, psychology, physics, astronomy, and sociology.

116 courses utilized OER in 2018’s fall semester, saving students $283,900 in potential text book costs. In total, the program has saved students more than $517,000 since it was implemented in 2016.

According to Mid, there were 2,499 times in the fall 2018 semester when a student wasn’t required to buy a textbook because of OER.

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