ACC is helping students save hundreds of thousands of dollars on textbooks through the college’s First Day and Z-Degree programs, which provide deep discounts and zero-cost digital class materials respectively.
In the first two semesters, the First Day Program reduced costs for students by almost $700,000. More than 7,700 students have enrolled in First Day courses since it launched and approximately 7,500 students are currently enrolled in Z-degree courses.
“Paying for textbooks is a huge burden for many of our students,” says Dr. Charles Cook, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. “These programs help relieve some of that pressure by offering materials at a much lower price and, in some cases, at no cost to the students at all.”
With the First Day Program, students pay a textbook fee for select courses. That fee provides access to digital textbooks and class materials through Blackboard on the first day of class. The Z-Degree Program provides students open educational resources, known as OER, and other free materials. All course materials are immediately available online at no cost. The programs are available to all ACC students.
“Our faculty play a major role in this effort,” says Cook. “They’re the ones who decide to participate in the program. When we launched the First Day Program in summer 2018, there were 15 First Day courses. By fall, we increased that number to 42.”
Students enrolled in the first summer courses of the First Day Program saved an average of $33.05 each on textbook costs. In fall, students saved an average of $98.54 each.
The programs address a recent mandate by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to lower the cost of education for students.