MCC is working to save students and the college more than $500,000 this year by offering more Open Educational Resources, which cuts the cost of textbooks and other educational material.
“The OER is helping students who can’t afford the high cost of textbooks,” said MCC President Dr. Michael Kearns. “We’re talking about high quality, free and low cost online educational texts and material that our faculty are accessing and using in the classroom and making available to students.”
MCC has a goal of eventually using free and low cost educational material in every Arizona General Education Curriculum course. AGEC is the Arizona Transfer program that allows MCC students to complete a core group of classes, maintain a 2.5 grade point average, and automatically get accepted and transfer to the University of Arizona, Arizona State University or Northern Arizona University.
“Students will save thousands of dollars starting at MCC and knocking out those credits, and we want to help them save even more by expanding our OER,” said Dr. Kearns, who also pointed out that MCC credits are just $81 each, compared to the universities that charge $400-$600 per credit. “Starting here and then transferring is a massive cost savings for the students.”
MCC’s goal is that by the end of the 2017-2018 school year, the college will have helped students save $520,567 in textbook costs.
Since 2014, MCC has seen annual textbook savings for students of $1,837,233, according to numbers MCC Chief of Academic Affairs Stephen Eaton presented the Board of Governors at the August 11 meeting.
“If our instructors find educational resources that meet program requirements, and are free or low cost, then we’ll use those materials and let students enjoy the benefit,” said MCC Spokesman James Jarman. “This is a win-win-win for the students, the college and the community.”
This year MCC wants to have at least 40 classes using the free and low cost material. “That would put us on track to help us meet our goal of saving the students a half million dollars in textbook charges this year alone,” said Jarman. “If it’s successful with those AGEC classes we’ll most likely look to expand it further to help even more MCC students.”