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K-State Today

December 3, 2014



Modest investments yield major savings for education majors

By Patrice Scott

College of Education faculty members parlayed eight alternative textbook awards totaling $24,700 into a savings of $222,000 for education students, representing a 798 percent return on investment.

The awards were made possible through two funding streams. First, the university's Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative, which was designed to reduce the amount students spend on textbooks. The program began in fall 2013, and the university funded two College of Education projects totaling $10,500.

Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, followed suit and offered college-level incentives as well. Six faculty members completed projects and received awards totaling $14,200. When combined over the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years, the cost savings will affect approximately 1,733 students.

"The beauty is these savings will continue well into the future," Mercer said. "While the investment of time and expertise is intensive in the development stage, faculty members have shared how easy it is to revise or add content so their course materials are always current and relevant. Because this aligns with the college's K-State 2025 objectives, it truly is a win-win-win situation."

The faculty members who received awards are: Ann Knackendoffel, assistant professor of special education, counseling and student affairs; Cyndi Danner-Kuhn, instructor of curriculum and instruction; Lotta Larson, associate professor of curriculum and instruction; Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction; Leah McKeeman, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction; Sandy Risberg, instructor of curriculum and instruction; Tom Vontz, professor of curriculum and instruction; and Lori Goodson, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction.