Going Free . . .

August 22, 2017

The Mathematics Area in the Department of Applied General and Technical Studies (AGTS), consisting of Drs. Katie Cerrone, Irina Chernikova, and Scott Randby, has a long history of reducing or entirely eliminating textbook costs for students. With the cost of textbooks reaching record highs, the area is continuing its effort to bring student textbook costs to zero by increasing its use of open source and customized textbooks. This fall, the technical mathematics sequence of courses will use an OpenStax textbook, which has a Creative Commons license that allows students free access to an online HTML version and a PDF version that can be downloaded to any device. If a student prefers a hard copy of the text, it can be purchased in the bookstore for a fraction of the price of the previous text.

For the technical calculus sequence of courses, area faculty worked with Cengage Publishing to create a customized textbook that contains the content covered in these courses. The cost of this textbook is substantially less than the cost of the previously-used textbook.

In addition, all three Math Area faculty have updated course materials and documents for the two course sequences (chapters/sections, homework, etc.), adapting them to the new textbooks in order to provide curriculum support to the Math Area's adjunct faculty.

Transition to the new textbooks will be incremental and finished by fall 2018. This fall semester, three adjunct faculty, Bill Hazlett, Innara Goldstein, and Frank Gruccio, as well as Dr. Cerrone, will put to the test both the new textbooks and, more generally, the area's proactive approach to ease students' already heavy financial burden and provide a stronger foundation for their college success.