Course Materials

Avila U Taps Private Partner to Manage Course Materials

Avila University has adopted a course materials solution in an effort to save students money.

Paul Toler, vice president of finance for the private Catholic university, found that the traditional campus bookstore model was failing, as students were not buying required materials and then falling behind, when he joined the institution in 2015.

"To assess marketplace options to explore and find the best solution for their campus, Toler formed a campus-wide task force of faculty and staff, and invited Cathryn Pridal, provost and vice president of academic affairs, to join. From the beginning, the focus of the task force went beyond finding the most financially viable model for managing course materials, and was focused on how textbooks were part of the formula for improving student success."

"Avila's approach to education is to bring out the best in our students, so they can bring out the best in others," said Pridal, in a prepared statement. "If students don't have their books at the start of the semester, they are at a major disadvantage and are seriously challenged to reach their full academic potential. Once we started to realize the full impact of students not having their required materials, we knew we needed to make major changes to ensure we were giving all students the best opportunity to succeed from the beginning."

Following a thorough review of available models, the university chose to adopt Rafter360, which provides students with all required course materials on day one of classes, at a discounted flat rate and charged through their student bill.

"One of the primary factors for choosing Rafter360 as our course materials management solution was that we could truly see that Rafter was going to be our partner in making this important change on our campus," said Toler in a prepared statement. "Rafter360 gave us the freedom to select both on-campus pickup and direct-to-student distribution, enabling us to put books in the hands of all students. We're looking forward to seeing the improvements we anticipate in the results."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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