Some technical colleges in South Carolina are no longer requiring students buy expensive textbooks for their classes, instead moving to a digital format.
Greenville Technical College Director of Business and Auxiliary Services Ray Lambert said the change could help students avoid standing in line to buy books and potentially save money.
“It allows the students to have all the required course materials loaded into their course content,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “So that course material that they need which would normally be in a book is loaded in an electronic format on the first day of class.”
The “inclusive access” system is also being used by Trident Tech in North Charleston, Tri-County Tech in Clemson, Technical College of the Lowcountry in Beaufort, and Orangeburg-Calhoun Tech this year. All have employed the textbook firm RedShelf for their programs.
Lambert said professors are using the digital program in 13 courses at Greenville Tech this semester to simplify the materials students need. Students will still have the ability to get a physical copy if they prefer.
“As they get comfortable with this new way of delivering course material, we’ll see more students and faculty opting in for the inclusive access material,” Lambert predicted.
The U.S. Department of Education cleared the way for colleges to begin using the program in 2015, clarifying that federal regulations allowed them to tack on book fees to tuition costs.