KCTCS Announces How Much Students Save Through Innovative Textbook Programs

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Students who attend one of the 16 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) will find a better deal than most on their textbooks. That’s because KCTCS is keeping the cost of textbooks and other learning materials in check through a variety of low-cost options and programs.

It’s almost back-to-school time, which means college students are thinking about purchasing their textbooks. Students who attend one of the 16 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) will find a better deal than most. That’s because KCTCS is keeping the cost of textbooks and other learning materials in check through a variety of low-cost options and programs.

Recent research shows over the last two academic years, students have saved an average of $109 per year through the partnership KCTCS has with campus bookstores managed by Barnes & Noble College. This comes to an overall savings of $14.5 million, as a result of making course materials easily accessible and offering a wide array of affordable options. Those options include rentals, used, digital and new textbooks, as well as open educational resources, First Day Course Charge model and a price match program.

KCTCS and Barnes & Noble College began looking for new ways to increase the number of students prepared for class on day one. One of the most successful programs, the First Day Course Charge model, was one of the first of its kind in the nation when it was introduced through KCTCS bookstores. This model seamlessly incorporates textbooks and other learning materials into the Learning Management System (LMS) and is immediately available to all students as soon as faculty members make course information available. No access codes are needed and there’s no wait time for students. The highly popular model represents an average savings of 40 percent, compared to the same content offered outside of the model.

“Accessing the textbook was a breeze,” said Coty Carroll, a Maysville Community and Technical College student. “Having it on the first day of class made me more prepared for my biology coursework. As a full-time student that works two jobs, the reduced cost of materials was appreciated — and my wallet thanks you.”

Barnes & Noble College collaborated with five major educational publishers, including Cengage, Pearson, McGraw, Wiley and Hawkes Learning, to drive down costs for students while expanding the course material catalogs and providing more options for faculty and students. Over the past two academic school years, KCTCS students purchased more than 191,000 units across 10,572 course sections, representing nearly $5 million in savings for the First Day Course Charge model alone.

Jonathan W. Burlew, associate dean of humanities, fine arts and social sciences at Somerset Community College, said the program is a big help to students by providing them access to learning materials on day one, while also reducing their costs.

“We are now using Course Charge in almost every discipline and are adding more courses each semester,” he said. “The Course Charge program has been a great success for our division. Our students are happy with the savings, and our faculty love the fact that every student has access to the class textbook on the first day of the semester.”

Some faculty members are proponents of the program as well.

“I teach both online and hybrid classes, which includes digital content from the publisher,” said Betsy Langness, professor at Jefferson Community and Technical College’s Shelbyville campus. “By allowing students immediate access to the online content, we remove added barriers from the students’ learning process, which means they have a better chance of being successful.”

Research recently conducted by Barnes & Noble College showed KCTCS students like their campus bookstores, with 96 percent of students rating their college bookstores as good, very good or excellent. Eighty-five percent said they had visited their college bookstore in the past six months, 71 percent said they had purchased school supplies and 66 percent said they purchased college apparel to support their school.

A Barnes & Noble College two-year national study shows similar results with 93 percent of college students rating their bookstore good, very good or excellent. The study also found 92 percent had visited the bookstore in person, 70 percent has purchased school supplies and 61 percent said they purchased apparel to support their school.

About Barnes & Noble College
Barnes & Noble College, a Barnes & Noble Education company, is a leading operator of college bookstores in the United States. Barnes & Noble College currently operates 769 campus bookstores and the school-branded e-commerce sites for each store, serving more than 6 million college students and faculty nationwide. As a strategic partner, Barnes & Noble College is committed to offering a complete support system and an unmatched retail and digital learning experience to foster student success in higher education. The Company is a leading voice in understanding and shaping today's college student experience through its College Insights platform.

General information on Barnes & Noble College can be obtained by visiting the Company’s website: http://www.bncollege.com.

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System is the Commonwealth’s largest postsecondary institution with 16 colleges and more than 70 campuses. We also are Kentucky’s largest provider of workforce training and online education. Through partnerships with business and industry, we align our programs to meet the needs of local employers. We help students fulfill their dreams of creating a better life through programs that lead directly to jobs or help them transfer to one of our four-year partners.

Connect with KCTCS:        
kctcs.edu | Facebook.com/kctcs | Twitter @kctcs

Terri Giltner – (859) 256-3186, terri.giltner(at)kctcs(dot)edu
Mary Hemlepp – (859) 256-3330, mary.hemlepp(at)kctcs(dot)edu

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