TCC Offering Online, Free Textbooks For Some Classes

Thursday, August 25th 2016, 6:43 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Students at Tulsa Community College can now get free textbooks online for some classes.

This can save students several hundred dollars a semester.

Biology Professor Jennifer Kneafsey has 24 years in the classroom and knows a thing or two about her students.

"I used the traditional publisher's books for many, many years, but I could see what a burden it was for my students to come up with the 200 or so dollars," she said.

So, after watching that struggle, she jumped at a new option.

Kneafsey said, "When the students access the textbook online, it's completely free."

The textbooks are from an online publisher named OpenStax.

There's the option of a printed copy for about $50; and while some students choose that option, freshman Valerie Miller went with free for Biology - not all of her classes have that, however.

“For my psychology I'll have to buy the book, but half my classes are covered by OpenStax, so that's great,” Miller said.

TCC encourages professors to use OpenStax if they can, but it's just getting started on the campus.

The publisher has many titles, but not one for every subject; all are updated each year.

TCC librarian, Lisa Halderman said, "These books are actually peer reviewed and reviewed by other faculty members in these fields."

Kneafsey said it's more than just a free textbook - it's a signal to students just getting started.

"You get to the section on textbooks and say, ‘I've done what I can to save you money, there's a free option, if you want the book, it's low cost,’ and so instantly, they see you're there to help them be successful," she said.

While the textbooks are handy for college, they're actually free for anyone.