In response to rising prices and the falling quality of college textbooks, a Lakeland Community College professor and a Lorain County Community College have done their part to make textbooks more affordable to students.
Lakeland Mathematics Professor Dr. Carl Stitz, of Painesville Township, was recently named among the outstanding faculty at University System of Ohio institutions who have creatively integrated digital content into their courses.
The Faculty Innovation Award was created by Chancellor Eric Fingerhut in 2009 to stimulate the creation of innovative and affordable instructional materials for students in the University System of Ohio.
To nominate a teacher for the Faculty Innovation Award, go to ohiotextbookhq.ning.com.
Stitz co-authored "College Algebra" with fellow math colleague Dr. Jeff Zeager, of Lorain County Community College, who was recognized alongside Stitz by Chancellor Fingerhut.
The textbook is available online for students to download for free.
Printed versions are available through at lulu.com for the cost of printing and binding, which is less than $20 per book as opposed to more than $100 for traditional textbooks.
They felt that much of the mathematical rigor in traditional textbooks diminished over the years, thereby robbing students of valuable mathematical learning.
Their solution was to co-author their own college algebra book, offer it free to students and faculty, and develop it in a way for anyone in the world to adapt it to their needs.
Stitz and Zeager have received positive feedback from colleagues across the state, nation, and from as far away as The Netherlands.
"The college is very proud of Dr. Stitz and his noble cause to publish such a high calibre electronic algebra textbook and offer it to anyone free of charge," said Dr. Frederick Law, executive vice president and provost at Lakeland.
"By declining offers from publishers, he is committed to providing students with free access to the book."
Several national college textbook outlets have pursued the authors to publish their work.
However, they have declined all offers in order to maintain their original vision of creating a high-quality, content textbook that is within reach and accessible to the average college student.