Trine Expanding Programs, Degrees Featuring No-Cost Textbooks
Thursday, April 2, 2020

In a 2018 survey cited in Inside Higher Education, 43 percent of college students nationwide reported they had skipped meals in order to afford college textbooks.

New degree programs and courses at Trine University will allow such students to eat again.

Trine University's Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Lou Holtz Master of Science in Organizational Leadership programs, both offered through TrineOnline, allow students to complete those degrees without paying for textbooks in their core courses or a large portion of their degree coursework.

Trine also offers 46 individual courses online that feature OER - openly licensed assets used for teaching and learning - and other no-cost resources in place of costly textbooks. These courses are identified as OER when students register for classes.

With textbook costs averaging about $140 for each course, Eberts said total savings for the Trine student body could reach nearly $200,000 per semester, just with the existing courses.

The university has been working to build OER courses and Z degrees for about a year, and will monitor usage and outcomes for students who complete these courses. According to OERdegrees.org, research has found that utilizing OER materials instead of commercial textbooks results in improved completion rates and better grades for students.


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