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B-CU Hosts HBCU Open Education Resources Forum


Forum participants gather on the front porch after touring the historic Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation Home

College textbooks can cost a student as much as $1,200 per semester, and many students at HBCUs and in rural areas often begin the semester without the required textbooks for their courses. In some cases they're awaiting financial aid, book vouchers or books on back order for as long as two to three weeks into the semester. By then they can be behind in their studies, which can often affect their grades. Students may also forgo purchasing books altogether because of the high cost of college textbooks.

With Open Education Resources (OER) students have access to free books on the first day of class. At least that's the goal, according to Dr. Robbie Melton who facilitated the HBCU Open Education Resources Forum hosted at Bethune Cookman University November 13, 2018.

Interim President Hubert Grimes provided the keynote address which charted the spread of education and literacy when it was just for the elite to the present day linking the importance of OER to Dr. Bethune's promise to spread literacy if she ever learned to read.

The group's vision is to raise awareness, encourage other HBCUs to adopt the OER model and ultimately provide Open Education Resources across the African diaspora.

"We are not here to compete, but to complete one another," said Grimes. "That is the standard of excellence that will move us forward."

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship, and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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