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Textbook information, transcript requests going online

April 29th, 2010

Changes meet requirements of Higher Education Opportunity Act

John Carroll University will update its schedule of classes to include required course material information online. The change is in compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, which requires higher education institutions to reveal such information on their class schedules by July 1, 2010.

The HEOA requires post-secondary institutions that receive federal assistance to include the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and cost for all required course materials on the institution’s online course schedule.

Registrar Kathleen DiFranco said the textbook information provided will include the name, author, ISBN, price and a link to purchase the book through Follett.

“Having the information for the cost of books and the International Standard Book Number will help students make more informed decisions about where to purchase books and to plan their finances,” DiFranco said.

Junior Lindsay Smetana said, “It [online textbook information] would be helpful. I wish I’d had it my first three years.”

The HEOA also requires publishers to disclose, among other things, the copyright dates of previous editions of a book and a description of changes from previous editions that were made to the current edition. Publishers are also required to provide an option to purchase bundled materials individually.

The textbook information will be available to JCU students in several weeks and e-mail notifications will be informing students of the changes at that time according to DiFranco.

Instructors are currently submitting book information for the coming fall semester, and the information will, ideally, be available at the time of registration in the future, DiFranco said.

“It all depends on how soon the book order has been submitted and if the instructor has been determined for particular class sections,” she said.

Course material information that is not yet decided must be designated with a ‘TBD’ (to be determined) on the online course schedule, as stipulated in the HEOA.

DiFranco said JCU will also offer online transcript requests through Credentials Solutions TranscriptsPLUS program in the next couple of weeks.

TranscriptsPLUS is an automated service that allows current and former students to request and purchase transcripts online. It handles all transactions and will provide status updates to users, as stated on the company’s Web site.

“By requesting transcripts online, students and alumni will have the convenience of using the Web for the entire request and payment process,” said DiFranco.