November 22, 2019 12:39 pm

Thanks to the Pierce Open Pathways (POP) program offered at Pierce College at JBLM, students have saved more than $2 million in textbook costs since 2015. Courses in the program use open educational resources, which are high-quality, openly licensed learning resources used in lieu of traditional textbooks.

Students in the program can earn an entire university transfer degree without ever paying for a traditional textbook. Each of these online learning resources are vetted by Pierce College officials to ensure high quality materials for each course.

More than 50 classes are offered through the POP program each term, and that number will only continue to grow, according to Pierce College at JBLM Executive Director Mark Haskins. “It’s important to remember that OER is not just about savings, but it’s also about relevant, flexible course materials,” Haskins said. “This program is a powerful example of what we try to do to reduce barriers for our military-affiliated students. While military tuition assistance (TA) provides an excellence educational benefit for service members, it cannot be used to pay for textbooks, which can be a significant expense. Students in our OER classes have little to no out-of-pocket costs, further making us one of the most accessible schools and best values in education for the military.”

Although the program is offered through Pierce College at JBLM, all students are welcome to enroll in POP courses. Students can view all available POP courses by visiting the Pierce College at JBLM Online Course Schedule.

 Courses offering open educational resources at no cost to the student are clearly designated as POP courses.