Helping Students Remove Barriers
Jennifer Lantrip is helping students gain increased accessibility to higher education.
ROSEBURG, Oregon – Congratulations to Umpqua Community College (UCC) Reference Librarian Jennifer Lantrip. She was awarded a research fellowship with the Open Education Group (OEG) for the 2017-18 year. Selected earlier this year, she is one of 27 fellows selected for this honor through the David O. MacKay School of Education at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Her passion is working toward improving the quality of Open Education Resources (OER) and increasing their use in higher education with the goal of removing the financial barrier to students of high textbook costs.
“Textbook costs have risen 812 percent since 1978, while the Consumer Price Index has risen only 250 percent (from 1978 to 2011),” she said.
Textbooks can be expensive. Students are required to purchase books for each class prior to the term’s start. They can cost between $50 and $300 per textbook depending on the coursework.
After reading the results of the 2012 Florida Virtual Campus Survey, she began to see the rising cost of textbooks as an issue of student access to higher education. Because of the high cost of textbooks, here is what that survey respondents showed:
- 64% decided not to purchase at least one textbook
- 23% did this frequently
- 45% decided not to register for a course
- 49% took fewer courses
- 27% dropped a course, and
- 21% withdrew from a course
In December 2017, Lantrip joined the Open Oregon OER Research Group and had the opportunity to compare the rates at which students dropped, withdrew, and passed courses at UCC before and after the instructor adopted an OER for their course. She will present this research project at the Open Education 2017 conference next week with other members of the research group.
The OEG OER Fellowship will be an opportunity for her to continue this research in collaboration with colleagues in the United States and Canada.
She hopes that her research will contribute to a larger body of research that can be used to inform decisions in higher education regarding the use of OER. Her research efforts continue to increase and improve the use of OER at UCC with the goal of helping students succeed.
About Umpqua Community College
Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.
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