Nicolet College Surpasses $1 Million Mark in Textbook Savings for Students
Nicolet College has passed the $1 million mark in textbook savings for students as the college continues to expand its efforts to offer free and high-quality instructional materials.
“This is a wonderful milestone and I’m absolutely thrilled we were able to deliver these savings to students,” said Cindy Domaika, manager of Open and Instructional Resources at Nicolet.
“This million dollars represents food on tables, child care, bills paid, and a host of other things that students do not have worry about and can instead concentrate on learning.”
Domaika launched the Open Education Resource (OER) program in the fall of 2018.
To date, about 8,100 Nicolet students have financially benefited from the program that has reduced or eliminated their textbook costs.
“When you look at the numbers, that’s by far the majority of students who have enrolled in credit classes at Nicolet since we started the program,” Domaika said.
“We’re a relatively small college, which makes reaching that $1 million mark that much more meaningful.”
She also noted that the college expects to expand the program in the future as more quality content becomes available.
The majority of the instructional materials come from oercommons.org, a vast, content-rich website where educators from across the globe openly share a wide variety of instructional material that is available at no cost.
Sources range from electronic textbooks to videos and PowerPoint presentations to a wide variety of other content that is available entirely in an electronic format.
Domaika stressed that all of the material that makes it into a Nicolet OER class goes through a rigorous review process to ensure it meets academic standards.
“We make sure that all of the material is peer reviewed by faculty at other colleges and universities,” Domaika said. “The quality has to be there in order to make it into a Nicolet course.”
Every Nicolet class has a list of course competencies that outline the subject matter to be learned in that course.
To gather the educational material that covers all of the competencies, Nicolet instructors and Domaika work hand in hand to find the appropriate course content that students can access for free.
“There was a time when some students would have to spend well over a thousand dollars a year just on textbooks,” said Domaika, who previously managed the Nicolet Bookstore and saw first hand the financial toll that took on students.
“It was getting ridiculous. It was a very real barrier that I’m glad we’ve been able to significantly reduce and in some cases completely eliminate so students can get the college education they need to help them get ahead in life.”