Mt. Hood Comm. College
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News Release
MHCC Faculty Save Students Over $1 Million in Textbook Costs - 10/03/19

GRESHAM, Ore. – Students at Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) have seen more than $1 million in savings thanks to the school’s textbook affordability efforts.

Since 2017, at least 142 faculty members at MHCC have taught with either no-cost or low-cost (under $50) textbooks, which has translated to this cost savings for students. The path to get to this milestone started in 2015 with the formation of the college’s Textbook Affordability Team (TAT).

Over the last few years, that team has worked on affordable textbook solutions, especially Open Education Resources (OER). OER allows for the free distribution of course materials, resulting in free online or physical textbooks for the cost of printing – less than $20 for a 200-page textbook. OER also allows faculty to custom tailor textbooks for their classes, resulting in higher quality instruction.

These efforts come in response to the 183% increase in college textbook costs since 1998, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Reaching this $1-million milestone is an exciting step in ensuring an affordable education for all of our students, which is a strategic priority for the college,” said Dr. Lisa Skari, president of MHCC. “From here, we will sharpen our focus so we can pass even more savings on to our students this academic year and beyond.”

Since its inception, the TAT has gained support from various resources, starting with a $10,000 grant from the MHCC Foundation to give it an initial push in 2016. This resulted in over $120,000 savings in textbook costs for students from OER projects in seven programs: Biology, Business, Psychology, Writing, Anthropology, Political Science and Metallurgy.

From there, the OER efforts only grew and the MHCC Foundation committed $50,000 in 2018. These funds, dispersed in $10,000-increments over five years, will support additional OER projects at the college. The first cohort of faculty are wrapping up their OER projects this Fall and are projected to save students $200,000 every year.

Beyond the MHCC Foundation funding, faculty also received over $70,000 of state-funded OER grants. All of this grant funding to faculty has translated to an estimated $1,195,083.95 in textbook costs savings between 2015 and 2019.

“It’s been a lot of fun to team up with our Associated Student Government, our college president, board, foundation and our faculty, who are making huge efforts to revise their curricula to replace overpriced commercial textbooks with OER,” said Heather White, the Library Technical Services and OER Coordinator at MHCC. “I am proud of our college administration and our state legislature for continuing to invest grant funding in our faculty as they do this wholesome, student-centered work.”

Click here for more information about MHCC’s textbook affordability efforts.

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