eBooks to be used more this year

  POPLARVILLE – Students enrolling at Pearl River Community College this fall will have fewer expensive, heavy textbooks to carry to class.
  Approximately 60 percent of academic classes will be using eBooks.
  “We are not requiring it of the teachers but we strongly encourage it,” said Dr. Martha Lou Smith, vice president for general education and technology. “It provides a great opportunity for our students and is a way for us to move forward.”
  Most students will pay significantly less for an eBook than for a new textbook, said Candace Harper, PRCC director of bookstore services. Harper calculated a savings of $307 for eBooks instead of new textbooks for a student taking English composition, psychology, anatomy and physiology, human growth and development and world civilization.
  PRCC will charge a course fee for each eBook a student requires.
  “Those fees are just automatically going to show up on their courses,” Smith said.
  The conversion to more eBooks and fewer textbooks has allowed Harper to rearrange the Wildcat Den bookstores on the Poplarville campus and at the Forrest County Center, freeing space for additional merchandise.
  An eBook can be used on up to four devices, including cell phones, tablets, laptop and desk top computers. Most eBooks also offer interactive features, including homework modules, quizzes and printing options. Students can print on their own printers or on campus.
  “There are going to be multiple print kiosks on campus,” Harper said. “They can print page by page or by chapters.” Debit cards for the kiosks can be charged to a student’s financial aid, she said.
  Electronic books are not yet available for all classes.
  “If the textbook is not an eBook, we have new and used books,” Harper said. “We don’t do rentals anymore.”
  Publishers have been slow to provide eBooks in many of the career and technical education fields, especially for allied health courses, Smith said.
  The switch to available eBooks lessens the chance that a student will have to start class while the textbook is on back order.
  “Whenever a student goes into their class, they will have access to their book,” Smith said. “The students will have the book from the very beginning. For online students, that is unbelievably important.”
  Registration for PRCC’s fall semester will be held Aug. 5 at the Hancock Center in Waveland, Aug. 6 and 7 at the Forrest County Center in Hattiesburg and Aug. 13 and 14 on the Poplarville campus.
Day and night classes begin Aug. 17 with online classes starting Aug. 24.
  For more information, visit www.prcc.edu

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