Lowering the costs of textbooks and course materials for students is the focus of the new “Be a Hero” campaign at Fresno State. The effort encourages faculty to select and use accessible, high-quality course materials at little or no cost to students.

Faculty can participate by submitting their textbook orders to the Kennel Bookstore by April 15 for the upcoming summer and fall semesters. The Kennel Bookstore will research and provide low-cost options for students, including rental books, older editions, digital texts and used books. These options save students 25- to 60-percent off the price of a new textbook.

The campaign also encourages faculty to contact the Affordable Learning Solutions program on campus, which helps educators find alternatives to traditional textbooks that are free or nearly free.

Fresno State Provost Lynnette Zelezny is calling for Fresno State to lead the CSU in the reduction of educational costs, which she believes is an issue of social justice. “In light of the recent CSU tuition increase, this is an opportunity for faculty to champion reduced educational costs to support our students.”

The effort to encourage faculty to submit orders to the bookstore by April 15 also helps ensure that  students with disabilities have access to the materials they need in time for the first day of class.

The “Be a Hero” program was developed in response to feedback from students like Michael Ornelas, who is a graduate student and parent. “Being the main source of income in the house and having to purchase textbooks at high costs, it takes away from other things,” he said. “It’s a real juggling act sometimes.”

“I know we are all busy but please take a few minutes now to submit your summer/fall textbook orders, and then go back to the other work,” said Dr. Kevin Ayotte, chair of the faculty senate in a letter to Fresno State faculty. “The five to 10 minutes it takes to order your books on time can save your students hundreds of dollars and allow students with disabilities to get the materials they need in time for the first day of class.”