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Columbia College Uses Ed Map to Roll Fees, Book Costs into Tuition

male college student sitting on a bench holding textbooks

A Missouri college has signed with Ed Map to embed digital curriculum into its courses to make the expense invisible to students as part of a new tuition approach. Columbia College, a private nonprofit college in Columbia, announced the partnership for its adult education and online education divisions. All course materials will be part of the tuition students pay in those programs.

The "Truition" initiative (truth plus tuition), as the college has dubbed it, will roll out in the fall. The program promises students that they will never have "surprise expenses." Aside from tuition, there will be no fees or book costs. The school is using Ed Map's OPENVUE platform, which provides administrative resources to pull together multiple sources of curriculum, including open educational resources, and make them available through the learning management system.

The move appears to be intended to help the school compete on financial terms against larger, better known entities, including Penn State's World Campus, Arizona State University Online and Purdue University Global, among others. Currently, Columbia has a network of campuses around the country and serves 20,000 students in traditional and online courses.

The agreement with Ed Map will help students gain access to course materials beginning on their first day of class, said Piyusha Singh, vice president of online education and interim provost. "We knew our course materials strategy needed improvement," she noted, in a press release. "Students were either paying a high price at the college bookstore, turning elsewhere to the open market or choosing not to buy at all."

By bringing course materials automatically into the programs, "rather than having it be something our students needed to worry about," Singh added, the new approach will "help alleviate those concerns."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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