Fletcher Saves Students Money
Schriever, LA – Fletcher Technical Community College like all other colleges has a challenge in providing affordable education to its students. With the lack of state funding and increasing tuition in higher education, students struggle to find a way to pay for college and textbooks. To overcome this challenge, the College encouraged faculty to move towards Open Educational Resources (OERs), low-cost solutions or library resources. Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video, and animation.
Since fall of 2015 to fall of 2017, Fletcher has saved students a total of $480,142.12 with the use of Open Educational Resources and this savings impacted 2,814 students. The College tracks the savings based on the cost of new printed textbook or ebook versus the cost of OERs and the number of students impacted. Currently, the College has 12 courses that are using OERs, low-cost solutions or library resources. These courses include Freshman Studies (CLCR 1001), Music Appreciation (MUSC 1010), Introductory to Rock Music (MUSC 2010), Jazz Appreciation (MUSC 2020), Process Diagrams (IPTN 1030), Offshore Safety and Compliance (IPTN 1500), Production Safety Systems (IPTN 2200), Career in the Petroleum Industry (IPTN 2500), Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 2010), Social Psychology (PSYC 2110), Psychology of Personality (IPTN 2040) and Criminal Justice Ethics (CRJU 2610).
In the fall of 2017, Fletcher was awarded an E-Learning grant by Louisiana Community and Technical College System to continue efforts towards Open Educational Resources. The College has seven courses that are in the pilot phase and they are: Human Anatomy and Physiology I Lab (BIOL 1150), Human Anatomy and Physiology II and II LAB (BIOL 1160 and BIOL 1170), Trigonometry (MATH 1110), Applied Calculus (MATH 2010), Introduction to Fiction (ENGL 2110), and Developmental Psychology (PSYC 2120).
The goal for Fletcher faculty is to transition from traditional textbooks to OERs, low-cost solutions or library resources. This transition will save students money, but also to ensure that students have access to course materials from day one of class. If students have access to course materials from the start of classes, they are more likely to succeed in the course.
Fletcher plans to save students over a half million dollars by end of the spring 2018 semester.