Palomar joins nine other colleges nationwide to increase affordable access to education with free to low-cost textbooks.

SAN MARCOS — Palomar College is one of nine colleges nationwide that has been selected to participate in Rice University’s 2018-2019 OpenStax Institutional Partnership Program, furthering the college’s efforts to provide free to low-cost, peer-reviewed digital textbooks and course resources through open educational resources (OER).

Palomar was chosen in a highly competitive process from among 31 applicants and will begin working with OpenStax to develop institutional plans to encourage the use of OER. The 2018-2019 participating OpenStax institutions are: Arkansas State University, Louisiana Community and Technical College System, Palomar College, San Diego City College, San Jacinto College, Santa Monica College, Thomas Nelson Community College, University of Missouri System and William Rainey Harper College.

OER, which include openly-licensed, peer-reviewed digital classroom materials and textbooks, are free or low-cost alternatives to traditional textbooks. According to the College Board, for the 2017-18 academic year, the average student spent over $1,200 for textbooks and course supplies. Many students affirm that textbook costs can be a significant financial barrier.

“We are excited to be chosen to participate in the OpenStax Partnership,” stated Joi Lin Blake, Ed.D., Palomar College Superintendent/President. “While the college has implemented a number of programs to address student textbook concerns—including a textbook loan program through the Palomar College Foundation—we know that textbook costs remain a burden for many of our students. Through the OpenStax Partnership, Palomar College will continue to be a leader in providing affordable and accessible, quality education for all students within the region. ”

About OpenStax

OpenStax is a nonprofit based at Rice University whose mission is to improve student access to education. Its first openly licensed college textbook was published in 2012, and its library has since scaled to 29 books for college and AP courses used by hundreds of thousands of students. OpenStax’s adaptive learning technology, designed to improve learning outcomes through personalized educational paths, is being piloted in college courses across the country. Through partnerships with philanthropic foundations and its alliance with other educational resource companies, OpenStax is breaking down the most common barriers to learning and empowering students and instructors to succeed.

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