Special Populations Collaborative

Economically Disadvantaged/All Special Populations

Cerritos College, Open Textbook Solutions

Textbook affordability is a growing concern among students and faculty. In the last two decades college textbooks have nearly tripled in price. Students routinely spend $1,000 a year on textbooks. As a result, some students forsake higher education, drop out of college, or do not enroll in certain classes because they are unable to afford the textbooks.

Cerritos College began an Open Textbook Initiative to provide free and low-cost textbook choices for students. The Business Administration department made the decision to use open textbooks published by Flat World Knowledge, and the college is seeing the positive impact on students and faculty. The company’s open publishing license and online platform enable students to have immediate access to free online textbooks, or they may choose a low-cost option that better suits their learning needs, such as print-on-demand, audio and downloadable versions that students can read on a range of devices from computers to hand-held readers.

The open textbook format also benefits students with special needs. By making the textbooks available in DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) and BRF (Braille Ready Format) formats. For faculty, the online platform improves efficiency and gives them the freedom to control the content of the textbook. They can remix, reorder and delete material using a drag-and-drop function. Student feedback has been positive regarding the quality of the content, as well as the choice of price, access and format.

For more information see:http://cms.cerritos.edu/uploads/Insight/Spring2010_Insight_web_spread.pdf