Higher Education Opportunity Act
In August 2008, the federal "Higher Education Act" was reauthorized by the passage of the "Higher Education Opportunity Act" (HEOA). A key feature of the act, Section 133, deals with the requirement for institutions to provide textbook information as part of its online or printed schedule of classes.
As of July 1, 2010, Calvin College was required to make available to students textbook information for all courses, to include both ISBN numbers and pricing information. This information must be offered as part of Calvin College's online class schedule, and must be viewable by students in advance of registration for any given academic term. The core theme of the textbook act is about empowering the consumer (student) through transparency in textbook cost information.
Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008
SECTION 133 TEXTBOOK INFORMATION
(d) Provision of ISBN College Textbook Information in Course Schedules- To the maximum extent practicable, each institution of higher education receiving Federal financial assistance shall:
(1) disclose, on the institution's Internet course schedule and in a manner of the institution's choosing, the International Standard Book Number and retail price information of required and recommended college textbooks and supplemental materials for each course listed in the institution's course schedule used for preregistration and registration purposes, except that:
(A) if the International Standard Book Number is not available for such college textbook or supplemental material, then the institution shall include in the Internet course schedule the author, title, publisher, and copyright date for such college textbook or supplemental material; and
(B) if the institution determines that the disclosure of the information described in this subsection is not practicable for a college textbook or supplemental material, then the institution shall so indicate by placing the designation `To Be Determined' in lieu of the information required under this subsection; and
(2) if applicable, include on the institution's written course schedule a notice that textbook information is available on the institution's Internet course schedule, and the Internet address for such schedule.
Compliance Implementation at Calvin College
Please submit your requisitions as soon as possible each term. By July, 2010 Calvin College was required to have all possible textbook information posted online and accessible by students. The Store will be working closely with CIT and the Registrar's office to provide an easy to use online search function which would display all available textbook information to Calvin College students in accordance with the requirements.
To meet compliance requirements, the Store will ask you to submit your textbook requisitions on a schedule that corresponds with the posting of the online course catalog. Visit our Upcoming Dates page for textbook ordering deadlines and important information.
Compliance Challenges for the Faculty
It is acknowledged that compliance with Section 133 poses significant challenges and burdens for the faculty. Textbook information must be made available to students with the online class schedule offerings for a particular term. To make this possible, faculty must submit their textbook orders to the Calvin College Campus Store well in advance of when they are accustomed to doing so currently. This initiative does not affect the process or manner by which you will submit your textbook lists to the Store. The procedures and online requisition tool are unchanged.
It is understood that faculty may not know with certainty by an upcoming term's submission date what their teaching assignments will be for that term. Or, faculty may not by that date have determined or updated required textbook lists for their classes. Given that HEOA 2008 Section 133 requires compliance "to the maximum extent practicable," we ask that faculty make their best effort to supply the Store with reliable textbook lists by the established dates. The Store acknowledges that in certain circumstances it is not "practicable" to publish textbook information and will, at your request, list the textbook information as "to be determined". If there will not be any textbooks required, please submit that information as well.
Because a live search function link will be established between the Store and the online Schedule of Classes, up-to-date textbook information will be available to students as soon as the Store has received and processed the instructor's revised listing. It must be noted that some students may be making their class choices and many students may be making early textbook purchases based upon the posted textbook information. The Store will continue to stand behind any textbook purchases made at our location but will be unable to guarantee the purchases of students made from other sources based upon the posted information.
If you have any questions on the HEOA or on submitting your textbook requisitions, please contact Shelly Mosurinjohn (6-7808) To submit your textbook request go to the Faculty Textbook Adoption page.
Other Points of Interest
The act also..
..requires textbook publishers by July 2010 to disclose certain course material information to faculty and staff including the net (wholesale) price and packaging options.
..requires textbook publishers to offer unbundled course materials, unless they are bound by third-party contract, customs, or if the materials are designed solely as integrated materials.
..encourages institutions of higher education to disseminate information to students on campus-based initiatives to reduce costs such as used books, guaranteed buyback, rental programs, e-books, print-on-demand, etc.
..requires a new Government Accountability Office study in 2013 to review the implementation by institutions, bookstores, and publishers, as well as the cost and benefits to institutions and students of the textbook provisions.