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What is the Higher Education Opportunity Act?

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) contains numerous provisions with which US institutions of higher education must comply in order to eligible for Title IV funding (student financial aid).  This act has a number of provisions with which UMass Dartmouth must comply.  You can read more fully about HEOA at www2.ed.gov.

What is the HEOA’s textbook provision?

UMass Dartmouth must ensure its compliance with the HEOA textbook provision.  Section 133 of the HEOA states the following:

SEC. 133. TEXTBOOK INFORMATION.

(a)  PURPOSE AND INTENT.—The purpose of this section is to ensure that students have access to affordable course materials by decreasing costs to students and enhancing transparency and disclosure with respect to the selection, purchase, sale, and use of course materials. It is the intent of this section to encourage all of the involved parties, including faculty, students, administrators, institutions of higher education, bookstores, distributors, and publishers, to work together to identify ways to decrease the cost of college textbooks and supplemental materials for students while supporting the academic freedom of faculty members to select high quality course materials for students.

The portion of Section 133 that most affects college faculty is the following:

(d) PROVISION OF ISBN COLLEGE TEXTBOOK INFORMATION IN COURSE SCHEDULES.—
To the maximum extent practicable, each institution of higher education receiving Federal financial assistance shall—
(1) disclose, on the institution’s Internet course schedule and in a manner of the institution’s choosing, the International Standard Book Number and retail price information of required and recommended college textbooks and supplemental materials for each course listed in the institution’s course schedule used for preregistration and registration purposes, except that—

(A) if the International Standard Book Number is not available for such college textbook or supplemental material, then the institution shall include in the Internet course schedule the author, title, publisher, and copyright date for such college textbook or supplemental material; and
(B) if the institution determines that the disclosure of the information described in this subsection is not practicable for a college textbook or supplemental material, then the institution shall so indicate by placing the designation ‘To Be Determined’ in lieu of the information required under this subsection; and

(2) if applicable, include on the institution’s written course schedule a notice that textbook information is available on the institution’s Internet course schedule, and the Internet address for such schedule.\

So, what does this mean for faculty?

To ensure that UMassD remains in compliance with the Federal law all faculty must provide complete textbook information (including ISBN) for the classes they are scheduled to teach by April 1 for Summer and Fall terms and November 1 for Winter Session and Spring terms. 

FAQs

  1. All faculty must provide textbook information for the classes they are scheduled to teach by April 1 for Summer and Fall terms and November 1 for Winter Session and Spring terms.
  2. Departments and faculty will enter textbook and material information by following the instructions. Additionally, a Course Textbook Adoption Form (PDF) is also provided.
    Note: Textbook adoptions can only be made online or on the paper adoption form.  No telephone adoptions are accepted
  3. For courses where no current faculty member is listed, the department chair should list “TBA”.
  4. UMassD is required to keep data on the number of courses that use Low Cost and Open Educational Resources (OER). Low Cost is defined as $50 or less in materials cost for a course. Faculty should notify the campus store if they plan to use OER for a course.

For questions, contact Kate Buck.

Yes, you can make changes but please notify the campus store of any changes, including requiring additional books or materials, as soon as possible.

Yes, it applies to both undergraduate and graduate courses.

No, faculty and students participating in Directed and Independent Study courses may communicate directly regarding required books and materials.

Yes, we must list that no textbook is required. Additionally, the university is required to collect this data.

No, the textbook provision of HEOA applies to textbooks, written material, access codes, course bundles, etc. It applies to any written material, printed or electronic, that is required for a course

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