SCC receives $24,500 grant to help Students Save Money on Textbooks


(March 21, 2016) – South Central College has received a $24,500 grant from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system to develop a project to increase awareness and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Textbooks by faculty. 

OER and Open Textbooks provide digital resources as an alternative to higher cost published textbooks. “The cost of textbooks can be a barrier to students pursing or completing their degree,” said Dr. Susan Tarnowski, Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs at South Central College. “While printed textbooks and materials are sometimes necessary, this project will explore the viability of digital alternatives to provide information to students at a lower cost.”

The grant will fund a three-step plan to engage in the exploration of the cost of textbooks and curricular materials and subsequent effects they have on student persistence. Phase I includes information gathering from faculty, staff and students during the current spring semester. Phase II includes the development and facilitation of summer OER institutes for SCC faculty to share best practices, along with curricular alignment tools and activities. Phase III includes a review of the effectiveness of the plan.

South Central College is one of seven Minnesota State Colleges and Universities selected to receive a grant for their Open Textbook and OER projects. The others include Bemidji State University, Central Lakes College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Riverland Community College, Southwest Minnesota State University and Winona State University.