ACC gets grant to ditch costly textbooks for certain courses


Students at Austin Community College will soon have the option of pursuing certain degrees without having to pay for expensive textbooks.

A consortium of two-year colleges in Texas, including ACC, has been awarded a $300,000 grant to help develop courses using mainly online materials that are free or available at minimal cost to students.

“We know that students sometimes don’t buy textbooks because of the cost, which then impacts their performance in a class,” said Charles Cook, ACC’s executive vice president and provost. “Research tells us that providing free and low-cost books and materials can have a significant impact on achievement and persistence rates.”

Students will eventually be able to earn an associate degree in general studies entirely through classes using so-called open educational resources, said Gaye Lynn Scott, dean of liberal arts. That could save a student up to $4,000 compared with the cost of courses using conventional materials.

The consortium consists of ACC, the Alamo Community College District, El Paso Community College and San Jacinto College. Each member of the consortium is getting $75,000 to develop several courses that will, in turn, be shared with the other members. ACC will develop two government courses, two in physics, one in math, three in biology and a student success course.

ACC’s first such offering is planned for spring 2017, and all of the courses are expected to be developed by the end of 2018, Scott said.

Funding is from Achieving the Dream Inc., a nonprofit organization whose open educational resources initiative involves a total of 38 community colleges in 13 states.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Sheriff will enforce immigration detentions after SB 4 court ruling
Sheriff will enforce immigration detentions after SB 4 court ruling

Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez ordered her office to start honoring all federal immigration detention requests placed on local jail inmates after a federal appeals court ruling Monday allowed parts of Senate Bill 4, the controversial “sanctuary cities” ban, to go into effect. The appellate court’s order essentially undoes Hernandez&rsquo...
Judge to rule on DA’s request to put hold on Rep. Dukes’ felony charges
Judge to rule on DA’s request to put hold on Rep. Dukes’ felony charges

After admitting they were caught off guard by a flip-flopping witness in state Rep. Dawnna Dukes’ corruption case, Travis County prosecutors are asking a judge to grant a trial delay so they can have more time to prove 13 felony charges. The outcome of a hearing Tuesday afternoon will determine whether the district attorney’s office gets...
Houston residents move to new emergency shelter at mall
Houston residents move to new emergency shelter at mall

The American Red Cross moved more than 250 people from a Houston convention center to a new emergency shelter in an empty department store almost a month after Hurricane Harvey displaced thousands. Storm victims began relocating from the NRG Center to the Greenspoint Mall on Friday, the Houston Chronicle reported. The mall may be able to house storm...
Supreme Court declines to speed Texas redistricting case
Supreme Court declines to speed Texas redistricting case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a request to speed its review of a lower-court ruling that said several congressional and Texas House districts had to be redrawn because they discriminated against minority voters. The request, made by lawyers challenging the maps as unconstitutional, was rejected without comment in orders the Supreme Court...
Gov. Abbott urges Congress to pass latest Obamacare repeal bill
Gov. Abbott urges Congress to pass latest Obamacare repeal bill

With the fate of the latest Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare coming down to the wire in Washington, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement Monday urging Congress to get it done. “With health care premiums skyrocketing and access to affordable insurance shrinking, it is irrefutable that Obamacare is broken and must be repealed,&rdquo...
More Stories