The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Monday, May 5, 2014

NACSCORP, OpenStax Announce Partnership

OpenStax College open-source titles will be available to more than 3,000 college stores through its new distribution partnership with NACSCORP, a subsidiary of NACS. The agreement provides stores with low-cost printed versions of free digital textbooks produced by the nonprofit publisher based at Rice University.

“As a trade association, NACS is committed to the mission of making sure course materials and all aspects of a higher education are more affordable to students,” NACS CEO Brian Cartier said. “I’m proud to say that this new partnership between NACSCORP and OpenStax College fully supports that mission.”

Printed versions of the OpenStax College textbooks costs about $30-$54, but the agreement will allow those prices to drop by around 2% by next year. Students will also save through reduced shipping costs that are part of the deal.

“NACSCORP distributes to the vast majority of college campuses across the country and many more outside the U.S., and they are committed to making a college education accessible to as many students as possible,” said Daniel Williamson, managing director of OpenStax College. “This deal will make it possible for us to expand our reach but also to lower the prices on our print books at the same time.”

OpenStax College has already published seven textbooks that have been downloaded more than 500,000 times. Its seventh title, Principles of Economics, is the first aimed at courses that normally enroll more than a million U.S. students each year. The publsiher plans to release titles in precalculus, psychology and U.S. history later this year.

“All our books are free online, but many students prefer a printed copy, and thanks to our partnership with NACS, we plan to do something next year that no major publisher has done for a generation: reduce the price of every print title in our catalog,” said Richard Baraniuk, founder of OpenStax College and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice.

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