Graphic: California Community Colleges Header

For Immediate Release
November 30, 2007

Contact:  Ron Owens


California Community Colleges Hold Textbook Summit
To Take on High Cost for Students


HAYWARD Focusing on the challenge that the cost of textbooks has become an increasing barrier to access, and now constitutes roughly 133 percent of enrollment fees for the average full-time student, California Community College System Office today convened representatives of major stakeholders to begin framing an action plan to reduce the cost of textbooks.

The group meeting at Chabot College included representatives of students, faculty, bookstore managers, student services and instructional administrators, business officers, librarians, educational technology innovators, community college presidents and trustees, book publishers and used book wholesalers. 

“Community colleges enroll the state’s lowest income students, and the rising cost of textbooks has become a critical affordability issue for them,” said Chancellor Diane Woodruff. “I applaud the collaborative effort of these stakeholders in addressing the key goals of our System Strategic Plan, improving community college student access and success.  I look forward to addressing the recommendations that will come from the group on how we can relieve this financial burden for our students.”

Summit attendees reviewed recent studies, discussed existing practices and proposed initiatives that can reduce textbook costs.  Stakeholders made presentations on textbook rental programs, collective purchasing, expanding the used textbook market, faculty textbook adoption policies as well as digital, interactive alternatives to traditional textbooks.

Linda Michalowski, Vice Chancellor, Student Services and Special Programs, noted that California has a number of model approaches to lowering textbook costs. “Many colleges have developed successful approaches that can be expanded. This summit is the beginning of an effort to bring the whole system together to find solutions for students throughout the state,” she said. 

The summit was co-sponsored by the Community College Committee of the California Association of College Stores and was intended to be the kick-off meeting for an action planning group as called for in the System Strategic Plan. Recommendations will be presented to the Board of Governors in March.


The California Community Colleges is the largest higher educational system in the nation comprised of 72 districts and 109 colleges with more than 2.5 million students per year.  Community colleges supply workforce training and basic skills education, prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions and offer opportunities for personal enrichment and lifelong learning. The System Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges system, please visit


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