After months of organizing students, the SGA, faculty, and administrators, we are excited to annouce that Berkshire Community College is moving forward with a pilot program for free open textbooks!
I’m not sure how much you spent on textbooks this semester, but I’d be willing to bet it’s too much. For decades, the textbook publishing industry has been jacking up the price of textbooks at the expense of students. And because we can’t choose which books are assigned, the publishers have gotten away with it. The College Board recommends that students budget $1200 per year on textbooks. That’s crazy! With student debt at record highs, the cost of textbooks is an unnecessary burden on already struggling students.
The good news is that there’s an alternative. Already free open textbooks are saving students hundreds of thousands of dollars! Open textbooks are just like regular textbooks, but they’re published with an open license which make them free to download, free to share, and cheap to print!
MASSPIRG at BCC Chapter Chair Uri Braun led the charge to build support amongst students, faculty, and the administration and was successful in forming an agreement with Dean Feinerman to move forward with a pilot program that will incentivize faculty to make the switch to an open textbook. This move will save students thousands and can inspire further action on this issue throught the state and across the country.
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