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TCC and CPS work together to bring textbook-free learning to dual-enrolled students

Chesapeake Public School teachers go textbook-free with TCC. Participating teachers are Kerry McNamara, Diane Cross, Chris Lessick, Joann Kennedy, Bridget Kelly and Debra Yarow. 

Tidewater Community College was the first community college to offer the zero textbook Z-Degree. Now the college is bringing textbook-free learning to dual enrolled-students in Chesapeake Public Schools (CPS).

All CPS students taking English 111 and 112 save close to $100 on textbooks, using free open educational resources (OER). With 274 students enrolled, that adds up to a savings of $26,578.

TCC is a pioneer in the use of openly licensed, high-quality electronic textbooks and other educational materials for the completion of two-year associate degrees.

“We are proud that we’ve saved TCC students over $1 million in textbook costs college-wide, and we’re pleased to extend this option to the high school students we serve,” said Lisa Rhine, provost of the Chesapeake Campus.

Seven CPS teachers spent the summer learning Blackboard and taking OER Pathways courses to qualify them to teach textbook-free.

“The training was very informative and eye opening,” said Chris Lessick, a teacher at Great Bridge High. “I also enjoyed collaborating with those from other schools.”

In addition to Lessick, other participating teachers are Bridget Kelly, Deep Creek High; Brittany Pfeifer, Grassfield High; Kerry McNamara, Grassfield High; Debra Yarow, Western Branch High; Joann Kennedy, Indian River High; and Diane Cross, Hickory High.

“I’m delighted to give my students the opportunity to earn college credit in an affordable way,” Kennedy said. “I remember when I was in college and struggling to pay for books. I feel like I’m doing a small part to combat the high cost of higher education.”