It’ll be like Christmas in August for students enrolled in Dr. Sarah Lazzari’s introductory sociology classes.
Last spring semester, Sarah entered a contest with textbook publisher FlatWorld to win free textbooks for her students for a year, and she won! This fall and spring, about 90 students who enroll in the introductory courses will receive online copies of Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World, Comprehensive Edition, free of charge.
“I’m always searching for newer, less expensive and more accessible options for our students,” said Sarah, who connected with one of the book reps at FlatWorld when she was searching for a textbook on the death penalty. The author, Stephen E. Barkan, thought Heidelberg, Sarah’s courses and his newly published text would be a good fit, she explained.
To enter the contest, Sarah had to compose a short essay with rationale for why her students were deserving of the textbook “scholarship” from FlatWorld.
She paraphrased her essay: “Many Heidelberg students are first-generation college students and many come from rural communities. Textbooks are expensive and can be a barrier for students who rely on financial aid and loans to support their education.” Some students, she said, struggle at the beginning of the semester to make ends meet and purchasing textbooks can sometimes take weeks.
After receiving the great news that she was the winner, she wrote, “I am so grateful for the support FlatWorld is providing my Heidelberg students. As a person not so far removed from grad school, I know how expensive textbooks can be, so anything to help with those costs is so welcome.”
“This is just one less thing new students will have to worry about as they learn to successfully navigate college.”
When they arrive in the fall, and then again in the spring, Sarah’s students will be given a link on the first day of class to access the textbook and the supplemental “homework system” from FlatWorld at no additional cost.
Sarah noted that it’s a challenge for faculty members to deploy a new textbook because there’s so much invested in the books they’ve used in past semesters. But the new sociology text has some definite bonuses. Since it’s newly published (January 2021), the book fully updates the initial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic shocks to the economy.
“That’s going to be a big topic for many years to come,” Sarah said.
This is the third year that FlatWorld has provided textbook scholarships to one professor’s class, free of charge, for an entire academic year.