HCC students thrive, save millions with free online textbooks

Aug 22, 2018


Houston Community College students are saving money and improving their grades in OpenStax, a program that uses free openly-licensed online textbooks and other low cost resources.

HCC was one of only 11 colleges in the nation chosen to participate in the Rice University OpenStax Institutional Partnership Program for the 2017-2018 school year. By using the program’s Open Educational Resources, HCC has saved students $3.5 million dollars.                                                                     

In addition to reducing costs, studies show OER led to higher grades and lower withdrawal rates. One study suggests OER may benefit disadvantaged students at greater rates than the general student population.

“The Rice University OpenStax partnership has been a valuable asset to the growth of OER and our zero textbook degrees at HCC,” said Stephen Levey, HCC’s associate vice chancellor of academic instruction.” The partnership has improved the student experience, increased innovation in teaching and learning, and expanded the use of technology throughout the college.”

Referring to HCC, Nicole Finkbeiner, director of institutional relations for the OpenStax partnership, said, “I could not be more proud of the work you have done. The results speak to your leadership and tenacity.”

During the coming academic year, HCC and the 10 other partnership schools are expected to save students nearly $17.4 million on textbooks and other materials.


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