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Just not at Bethel U. (MN) where they’re getting rid of them.

A new initiative to reduce or eliminate textbook costs has quickly taken off in Bethel’s College of Adult & Professional Studies, improving educational accessibility and affordability for hundreds of students. Initially a collaboration between the Bethel University Library and the Office of Academic Affairs, the Zero Cost Course Resources Initiative aligns with a national trend in higher education to help make courses more affordable.

Funded by a two-year Strategic Growth Award grant from the Bethel University Foundation, the initiative replaces traditional textbooks with Open Educational Resources (OER) and eResources from the Bethel University Library. Faculty and staff launched a pilot run with the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees in summer 2018, and the B.A. in Human Services, B.A. in Psychology, Bethel Distinctives courses, and the graduate-level International Baccalaureate Certificate in Teaching and Learning have since followed suit. All are set to offer entirely free course resources by spring 2020, saving students approximately $1,300 per year in textbook costs.

A cost-saving measure! And, why not? At Bethel, the annual tuition is $37,000 – all for a solid “F” rating, much like Harvard, on the 2019 ACTA index.

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Remember college textbooks? They were expensive, even way back when. $100 new, to be resold after the course was over for $10-15. I get the money angle. There is a better way to teach most subjects, using original sources and the Great Book program that a few of the A-schools still use. I doubt that’s going to be the case at Bethel.

OER? Sounds like more U of BS.