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Changes to the Ithaca College Course Material Process Submitted on behalf of Provost Cornish and Vice President Guerrero

Contributed by David Prunty on 05/31/20 

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Thank you for your hard work this past semester and your successes in delivering your course content to our students in a remote environment. This past semester was unique and challenging in so many ways, but the Ithaca College academic community rose to the challenge and we want to express our deepest appreciation for your flexibility and effort. As we now prepare for the next academic year, we want to bring some important course material process changes to your attention.


As part of the Ithaca Forever strategic planning initiative, an Academic Resources action group was tasked with examining ways that we might encourage the use of low cost and open educational resources (OER) to reduce the cost of course materials for students. The group, which includes faculty membership and a goal area faculty representative, began their work in the fall of 2019. During the spring of 2020, the group was updated on important changes in the Campus Store that support their efforts.

Rodney Beers, the Campus Textbook Manager recently retired from Ithaca College after 17 years of service. Rodney’s retirement, along with the charge to the Academic Resources Action Group, and national trends in higher education textbook sales have coalesced to create an opportunity for moving to a student success-focused service.

Effective the summer of 2020, Ithaca College will outsource its textbook operations to Akademos, a national leader in the online course materials market. Akademos was selected as the Ithaca College vendor partner through an RFP process which included reference checks of several peer institutions. Some of the factors that led to the selection of Akademos include:

              Ability for faculty to search, review and select from a broad range of available resources  

              Seamless and intuitive interface for faculty and students

              Robust support services and training for faculty

              Significant support for faculty adoption of low cost and OER course materials

              A syllabus assistance tool (on-line for the fall of 2020)

              Cogbooks, a tool that allows faculty to easily create course packs

              Textbook scholarships for Ithaca College students     

Please note that faculty who have already submitted course materials for the fall of 2020 will not need to make any changes at this time. If you have any questions about textbook adoptions for fall, 2020 please contact Rick Watson in the Campus Store and/or utilize the existing adoption form. More information about the partnership with Akademos and planning for the spring of 2021 and beyond will be shared this summer.

Please also know that the Ithaca College Campus Store will continue to be run and managed by Ithaca College to offer general merchandise and other important services. 

We hope that you see the value in this important opportunity for change in support of the Ithaca College Strategic Plan, and we thank you in advance for your support. Please stay tuned for more information on the Akademos partnership over the coming months.


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