Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

Pennsylvania College of Technology Bookstore Perfects Faculty Communication

Posted by Liz Schulte on 11/8/21 9:00 AM
Topics: communicating with faculty, faculty adoption rates, Faculty engagement with campus store

The most important aspect of getting on-time adoptions is a stellar faculty communication plan. Recently, we sat down with Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Textbook Manager Kim Ergott to discuss how her store works with faculty to ensure on-time adoptions and lower student costs.

Pennsylvania College of Technology Bookstore Perfects Faculty Communication

The store begins its adoption process not long after the start of term.

“I usually send an email to full-time faculty after the semester begins. This fall, I did it in September. I carbon copy all of the deans and assistant deans on the email and let everyone know that adoptions are due on a certain day. Usually, I get about 10-15 percent of the faculty who will do their adoptions right away,” Ergott said. “After that, I work with professors one-on-one as I am going through the returns process. So, if I know the professor usually uses the book in the spring, I will send them an email that says ‘Hey, I am in the process of doing returns. Will you be using the following book for the upcoming semester?’ Most of the time they will confirm they will use the same book. I then adopt the book for them on my end.”

The adoption deadline is set before their scheduling date to give plenty of time for the store to reach out to faculty that haven’t submitted adoptions yet.

“This term, my deadline for adoptions was October 15. On October 15, I emailed anyone who hadn’t submitted adoptions a note that basically said, ‘I know it is a busy and hectic time but please send me your adoption information as soon as possible,’” Ergott said. “I want to make sure I get everyone’s information, so we get more used books. Because of COVID there aren’t enough used books in the market. I stress to professors the faster they can get adoptions to us, the faster I can find used books that will be a cost savings to students.”

Ergott finds that faculty appreciate her hands-on approach to textbook adoptions because she works hard to save them time and make it as simple as possible.

“A lot of times they will call to ask if I can adopt their books for them. I always say sure. We want to maintain that person-to-person communication. I had one professor who said that he worked at other colleges that didn’t go to the effort that we do. He liked that we kept following up with him,” Ergott said. “I know submitting the adoption is their responsibility, but I also know how busy they are so I try to help out as much as I can. For example, when a new edition is coming out, I email the professor to let them know a new edition is available. I try to do that way before the adoption deadline, so they have a chance to review the new edition and decide what they want to do the next semester.

“Right now, I have a lot of one-on-one communications with professors where I let them know what they used last spring and directly ask if they want to adopt it again. If so, I am happy to take care of it on our end. I always like to keep paper trails on these as well,” Ergott said. “If they say they want to readopt the books, then I confirm it once more with them. I will send another email that says, ‘Per our conversation, this is what I adopted.’ I like to make sure the store is always protected.”

When building these relationships with faculty, clear, persistent communication is key.

“For communication, I recommend reaching out to the professors and the deans constantly. Just keep reminding them as many times as it takes.”

Check out Kim Ergott’s example emails here.


Email to professors

Good Morning,

It’s that time of year again! The College Store will once again be starting the return process of our overstock new and used fall textbooks on September 27th 2021. Please inform your students that they should consider purchasing any additional needed textbooks now, rather than waiting until later in the semester when the inventory may not be readily available for them.

We do delay returns for 8-week courses that begin in the second half of the semester, however, we are asking Faculty to notify us of any specific titles that we should hold off returning. We also ask that you alert us if you plan on using the same titles for the Spring, Summer and/or next Fall term that is currently being used to avoid returning them.

Also, we are accepting your Spring 2021 textbook adoptions they can be submitted through the Online Textbook Requisition Application at [website].

Instructions are as follows:

  • Go to [website].
  • Click on “Log In” at the top right of the page.
  • Log In using your Penn College username and College Store password (if you don’t remember your password, click on “Forgot Your Password?” to reset).
  • Click on “Faculty Adoptions”.
  • Follow directions provided to select your textbooks and/or supplies.
  • Click “Submit” when you have completed the adoption process.
  • You’re all done!

All approved requisitions for textbooks and course materials must be received by October 15, 2021 for your Spring Courses.

Please remember to add any comments regarding “using old editions and/or new editions” along with any special supplies that will be required for your classes, including specialty pens, folders, binders, index cards, calculators additional tools that are not in the kits, etc.

Our goal is to ensure you will have the correct materials readily available for your students on our shelves and on our website.

As always, if you have any questions or help with the online system or would like us to take care of the adoption on our end, we would be happy to assist in any way. [Contact Information].

Thank you so much, we look forward to hearing from you soon.



Good Morning,

As it is a very stressful and busy time for everyone, scheduling will be starting November 1st , I would like to assist you with processing your Spring 2022 adoptions.

I will need to know the following information:

  • The course # and section that you will be teaching
  • “Yes” I will be using the same books as I did Fall of 2021 or the same book that I used for Spring 2021 semester. (I can find this information on my end)
  • If you are thinking of using new materials, I will need the ISBN #, Title and Author of the textbook and if this book would be a “Required”, “Recommended” and/or “Optional” text
  • If your class does not require a text, please let me also know that as well so I can mark the class as “NO TEXT REQUIRED”

If there would be any issues with the textbook requested, I will notify you immediately.

Due to Covid-19 many of our Publishers and wholesale companies are working with a limited staff so I would like to get the information to them as soon as possible to avoid any delay.

If you have already submitted your Summer & Fall adoptions thank you so much.

Thank you and be safe.


Returning books

Good Afternoon,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am in the processing of returns and I see that you are teaching the following classes this upcoming Spring, will you be using the same text that you used last fall –

  • ACC 113:
    • EDMONDS — INTRODUCTORY FINANCIAL - 978172945654 — Required
      • ACCESS CODE ONLY — 9781260361681
      • BUNDLE — LOOSELEAF AND ACCESS CODE — 9781264091645
  • ACC 480:

Please let me know either way. I will be happy to take care of all or any of your Spring adoptions.

Thank you in advance,

Have a great day.

Article comments

Subscribe for updates

Share your experience

Contact our editorial team to set up an interview or to contribute a guest post.

Most popular posts