Saddleback College Partners with OpenStax to Promote Free Textbooks

For Immediate Release: 
June 26, 2017

Saddleback College was selected as one of 11 schools chosen to participate in the 2017-2018 OpenStax Institutional Partnership Program to encourage use of free, peer-reviewed textbooks on campus.

After a rigorous application process that included demonstrating willingness to drive adoption of open educational resources (OER), Saddleback College was selected to participate in this strategic partnership with OpenStax. Saddleback will receive individualized consulting from OpenStax and join a cohort of schools advocating widespread use of OER on their campus. Last year’s institutional partner schools saw a 55 percent increase in the number of students using OER, saving an additional $1.7 million in the coming academic year.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “The OpenStax partnership with Saddleback College puts costly textbooks in the hands of students who would otherwise be without them. This is a terrific opportunity to further support our efforts to make college accessible to all.”

Nicole Major and Jennifer Pakula, co-chairs of the Saddleback College OER workgroup, said, “Over the last year, we have worked closely with faculty, staff, administration, and the Associated Student Government to promote OER.  Momentum is gaining on campus and adoption of OER is increasing. In Fall 2016, only 6 faculty were using OER. In Fall 2017, we are anticipating 30 faculty from a variety of disciplines, potentially impacting 2,800 students.  We are excited to partner with OpenStax to further our OER efforts on campus by continuing to support faculty in reducing textbook costs for students.”

The high cost of traditional textbooks   averaging between $600 and $1,400 per students each year, according to studies by the National Association of College Stores and the College Board, not only impacts students’ ability to attend college but also their ability to continue and complete coursework. Open educational resources, including the free, peer-reviewed textbooks offered by OpenStax, eliminate cost barriers for students and allow unrestricted, immediate access to learning materials, increasing the likelihood for students to complete their courses successfully. 

This partnership will allow Saddleback College to further commit to student success by reducing high textbook costs for students while still presenting high quality content and protecting academic freedom. 

Located in Mission Viejo, Saddleback College provides dynamic, innovative, and student-centered postsecondary education and training to the greater south Orange County community.  Having served more than 665,000 students since 1968, Saddleback College offers more than 300 renowned degree, certificate, transfer, and lifelong learning programs to help students succeed in reaching their personal and career goals.  For more information, please visit www.saddleback.edu.  

OpenStax is committed to improving access to quality learning materials. An initiative of Rice University and supported by philanthropic foundations, OpenStax provides free textbooks that are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure readability, accuracy and adherence to scope and sequence requirements of most introductory college courses. For more information, visit http://openstax.org. 

Originally published on June 23