Casey Curtis, Communications Director
HOPE/TEXARKANA, AR – November 6, 2020
The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana has been named as a top 10 national finalist for the highly coveted Bellwether Awards in the Planning, Governance, and Finance category for the college’s innovative textbook rental program. Bellwether finalists represent leading community colleges whose outstanding and innovative programs and practices were selected among competitive submissions as exemplary.
“The cost of college textbooks is one of the leading cost barriers preventing students from obtaining higher education, and in some cases, UAHT students were paying more for textbooks than for tuition,” said Laura Clark, UAHT Interim Chancellor. Under the UAHT Book Rental Program, the college purchases the textbooks and rents them directly to students. For students who participate in the book rental program, textbooks cost only $20 per credit hour plus tax. Since the inception of the program, students have saved over $3.8M on textbooks. That represents an average savings of $460 per student each semester.
The finalists will undergo a rigorous second and final round of review at the 2021 Community College Futures Assembly in January 2021. Each selected college provides a 60-minute presentation on its program or model to an anonymous panel, recognized as skilled practitioners and thought leaders in the field. The Bellwether Awards are widely regarded as one of the nation’s most competitive and prestigious recognitions for community colleges. “The Bellwether College Consortium prides itself on identifying and celebrating replicable, scalable and results-based programs and models and disseminating these highly lauded examples of institutional success to peer institutions,” said Dr. Rose Martinez, director of the Bellwether College Consortium.
The following ten institutions have been named finalists in the Planning, Governance, and Finance category. The category recognizes programs or activities that improve efficiency and effectiveness in the community college.
- Southwest Tennessee Community College
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
- Onondaga Community College
- El Paso Community College
- Blinn College District
- Collin College
- Pensacola State College
- Broward College
- Pima Community College
- University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana
All finalists will be presented at the 2021 Community Colleges Futures Assembly, and one winner will then be selected from each category by a panel of national experts. “UAHT rewrote the textbook model to be financially responsible, innovative, efficient, effective, affordable for students, and relevant to today’s educational environment. We are proud of our textbook model and what it has done to save our students money,” said Clark.