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December 07, 2012

Transformation of Textbook Production and Costs Aimed at Revolutionizing Education System

By Tabitha Naylor, Contributing Writer

In order to transform textbook production and costs, California Community College faculty, administrators, a team of professionals and the 20 Million Minds Foundation will be meeting during the first weekend of December.

The aim of this project is to revolutionize the way educational materials are compiled and delivered, as well as to help students save millions of dollars.

West Hills Community College District formed the Central California Community Colleges Committed to Change – a.k.a. the C6 Consortium. To train laid-off and dislocated workers, the U.S. Department of Labor selected C6 in the first round of funding under the $2-billion federal program.

As a historic step forward for open resource education in America, the C6 is the first grantee to decide to make original work product under the federally funded Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program (TAACCCT) free for others to reuse. Seeking to advance educational reform efforts, working groups gathering for this meeting will develop what educators call open source textbooks.

"Students pay $1,033 for books for a semester. We're looking at reducing that by using information online and creating our own textbook. It would then cost students $10 instead of $250 for a book that is used for one semester,” said Sherry Barragan, R.N., Psychiatric Technician Instructor at West Hills Community College District. 

Image via Shutterstock

According to Barragan, California college students will save $70,000 per year, collectively. Educators believe saving students’ money is critical to student retention.

Nancy Hoff, Healthcare Redesign Education Delivery (RED) Team Leader at Fresno City College, a consortium member, stated that in economically-challenged areas such as the Central Valley, creating more affordable materials will help ensure that those seeking new careers and skills can achieve them and successfully enter or reenter the workforce.

The 20 Million Minds Foundation's (20MM) software and content creation platform will be utilized for the gathering.

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Edited by Braden Becker

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