Board approves one text per course

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Books will be bought at registration as part of tuition.

By Katherine Garcia

The board of trustees approved the chancellor’s proposal to require a common textbook in courses taught in multiple colleges during the Jan. 21 regular board
meeting at Killen Center.

TextorEbookThe textbook will be used in courses across the district. Students will pay for instructional materials at registration.

Trustees discussed the proposal with Super Senate in a special meeting Jan. 14. The Super Senate, composed of representatives of faculty senates at district colleges, opposed it, arguing different textbooks at different colleges are necessary to innovative learning.

“When we identify the best, it should go to all,” Chancellor Bruce Leslie said.According to the minute order, the proposal will “provide the best learning materials at the lowest possible cost to students.”

Paying for texts at registration ensures every student has a textbook on the first day of class, Leslie said. He said the instructional materials proposal will be implemented in steps, but the board will try to enact the change as soon as fall. He said the board decides in March if the change will be ready.

The first step is putting together a committee of two people from each of the Alamo Colleges to aid in the evaluation, said Dr. Robert Vela, vice president for student and academic success.

President Robert Zeigler has chosen Larry Rosinbaum, business professor, and Said Fariabi, math chair, as this college’s representatives.

They will help “to come up with a methodology to evaluate effectiveness of materials,” Vela said.

“Both of them have been in leadership roles in the college,” Zeigler said. Rosinbaum is a former chair of this college’s Faculty Senate, and Fariabi is the college’s 2013 nominee for Piper Professor.

The best books will be decided by assessing the different levels of engagement and assistance they provide to students.

If a textbook is deemed the best and there is no online equivalent, then that book will be chosen, said Ruth Dalrymple, associate vice chancellor for academic partnerships and initiatives.

However, she said if an online textbook were deemed better for students, then the online textbook would be the one used throughout all Alamo Colleges.

According to the proposal, students would then have the option to print a hard copy of the book for a minimum of $15.


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