Brookdale students got the choice to have their voices heard by college administrators at the Student Speak Out event on November 14.

Held during college hour, the Student Speak Out gives students the opportunity to voice their concerns to Brookdale officials who have the power to initiate change. Representatives from Academic Institutes, Student Services, Culinart Food Services, Advising, Financial, and so many other areas of the college were on hand to listen to students.

Students took advantage of the opportunity to have their questions answered. Students brought up topics such as: rising food prices, the cost of tuition, the new priority registration process, Testing Center operation hours, communications, and the cost of textbooks as well as others. Representatives from the college immediately responded to the student comments, many times highlighting processes the college already has in place.

For example, one of the students brought up the rising cost of textbooks and asked if the college has plans to address the cost of books.

Dr. Matthew Reed, vice president for learning, responded and discussed Brookdale’s use of Open Education Resources (OER) as opposed to traditional, often costly, textbooks. “It is a free, usually electronic, alternative to commercial textbooks,” Reed said of OER.

Reed explained the college has supported and encouraged faculty to create and utilize OER instead of commercial textbooks because the college realizes the economic burden of the cost of textbooks. He said every foundational studies math class currently uses free OER curriculum, and the college is currently working on creating free OER materials for every general education math course as well. He also cited English, history, psychology, environmental science, biology, and speech classes that use OER to help reduce costs for students. He said Brookdale’s use of OER saved students over 1 million dollars in textbooks costs in 2018.