During a press conference at the Main Branch of Rapides Parish Library downtown, Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) announced on Nov. 29 that the college’s use of Open Educational Resources (OER) for transferable general education classes and other first-year classes has saved students $106,000 in textbook costs. The savings was calculated based on the number of students enrolled in these particular classes in the spring, summer and fall of 2018.
The adoption of OER is a college affordability initiative designed to support the selection of no-cost textbooks for various classes and degree programs. These openly licensed learning resources include textbooks, media, videos, articles, and more students can access for free.
Textbooks and supplies can cost students between $450 and $600 each year. In some situations, when expensive textbooks are required, some students never buy them.
“We have been piloting OER since spring 2017, and we are happy to announce the cost savings to-date,” said Jimmy Sawtelle, Chancellor of CLTCC. “Because we’re utilizing OER, students enrolled in our transferable general education classes and other first-year classes such as Freshmen Seminar don’t have to purchase textbooks. These students can access free textbooks from a mobile device, tablet or computer. They can also use the general use computers at their local library.”
CLTCC’s general education classes such as biology, history, and psychology can be transferred to any public college or university in Louisiana. Scholarships in the amount of $250 also are available for general education courses on a first-come, first-served basis.
Interim Manager of the Main Branch of Rapides Parish Library, Jonathan D. Westbrook, also announced a free tutoring service available to anyone with a valid library card. “Live one-on-one help is available from kindergarten to college at homeworkla.org. You can get help with homework, prepare for a test or get helping finding a job,” said Westbrook.