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Deal will enable West Texas A&M to provide free textbooks to students

May 31, 2024
The university in Canyon, Texas, has an agreement with two publishers to provide books and other educational resources to students at no charge.

West Texas A&M University in Canyon has reached an agreement with two textbook publishers that will enable the university to provide textbooks and other educational resources free of charge to students.

The university says it has purchased a campus license from both Cengage and McGraw Hill that will provide students digital textbooks and ancillary materials, including digital learning platforms, mobile apps and more.

University President Walter V. Wendler pledged in January to provide textbooks for core courses at no cost for students. Over-indebtedness is a concern for many college students, Wendler said.

“Depending on a student’s major, they can save $800 per semester or more,” said Mike Knox, vice president for enrollment services.

Neil Terry, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs, says the agreements "will facilitate student access to textbook and ancillary materials, provide significant savings to students, and support academic rigor.”

Students have access to computer labs across campus and specifically to high-capacity printers in the Marmaduke Internet Innovation Center, where they can print up to 3,000 pages per semester. That limit has been doubled to help facilitate the free-to-students digital textbook initiative, said James Webb, vice president for information technology and chief information officer.

West Texas A&M has aggressively pursued more open educational resource texts; in the past six years, use of open eductional resources (OER) has risen from 5% to 22% across the university. OER materials are teaching resources that are in the public domain or are released under intellectual property licenses that permit free use, adaptation and redistribution.



About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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