As community service projects, we can "adopt" a classroom and we can "adopt" a highway. At this time of year, faculty at Western Illinois University "adopt" textbooks, and now they can gain departmental scholarships in the process through an initiative established by the University Bookstore.
According to Jude Kiah, bookstore director, a federal law established in 2010, in accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act, mandates that all textbook prices must be available to students when course registration begins. The textbook "adoption" program allows students to make informed decisions about textbook purchases and better plan for their college-related expenses, he added.
"As part of the act, faculty are required to provide book prices, books numbers (ISBNs) and editions required for courses when registration for the next semester opens," Kiah explained. "The earlier we receive the textbook information from faculty and departments, the more opportunity we have to get the best possible prices for texts, which in turn saves our students money. If we have the orders for the next school year at the time of book buy-back at the end of a semester, we can both buy back texts at higher prices and provide these texts to our students at a much lower cost next semester."
To further help students and departments, the University Bookstore recently created a scholarship incentive program for University departments who meet the 80 percent threshold for on-time textbook adoptions. Those departments who "met the grade" during the 2012-13 school year will be honored at a reception at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 18 in the Union Lincoln Room. These departments* [see complete listing below] will each receive a $300 scholarship from the University Bookstore to be awarded to a student within their respective departments.
"While this is a federal mandate, it is also the right thing to do to help keep the cost of higher education affordable for our students," Kiah pointed out.