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MDC Receives Major Grant to Address Rising Costs of Textbooks by Implementing Trailblazing Program

$267,298 Student Access Via Exchange grant will improve students’ access to textbooks and expand their service learning and entrepreneurial skills
Students Using Textbooks

Miami, October 19, 2009 - In addition to tuition, paying for textbooks is usually at the top of the list of concerns for college students. Their cost has grown significantly in recent years. However, now, Miami Dade College (MDC) has received a $267,298 Student Access Via Exchange (S.A.V.E.) grant that will improve students’ access to textbooks and expand their service learning and entrepreneurial skills.

Recognizing that S.A.V.E. will provide enhanced opportunities for students to access course materials at a lower cost, MDC’s grant proposal was trailblazing. Project S.A.V.E. endorses the purpose of the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) Program of providing innovating projects that support reform and significant improvements of postsecondary education that respond to problems of national significance and serve as national models.

S.A.V.E. is a student-driven book exchange program that builds on the efforts of previous book rentals and swap initiatives at a national level, translating those elements that made them successful to the MDC educational environment. A book exchange club will be created with an online inventory and a designated physical space at the college’s North Campus where transactions will take place. 

This pilot project will focus only on four courses: Anatomy 1 and 2, Chemistry, and Microbiology. These are core courses for both the Biology and Chemistry departments, and target all of the pre-professional, allied health majors, as well as AA science majors at the North Campus, an enrollment of 2,700 students per semester.

S.A.V.E. will prove to be an innovative project as it not only focuses on the main goal of improving student access to textbooks, but further enhances the improvement of postsecondary education by integrating components of service-learning and entrepreneurship. 

The potential for self-sustainability and replication of project S.A.V.E. is enormous.  The project has a low-cost operation with minimal needs for staff and space. Because it is a low cost, fee generating service, proceeds are expected to assume any operational costs, ensuring sustainability. For this reason, as well as the featured virtual inventory, S.A.V.E. presents a realistic model for replication at other institutions of higher education.    

“Kudos to the academic and resource development teams at the college for coming up with such creative and needed solution to help mitigate the cost of textbooks for students,” said Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami Dade College. “We have a ‘students first’ mantra at Miami Dade. Facilitating their higher education is our top priority.”

MDC has also piloted the use of eBooks online and on personal digital assistants (PDAs).


For more information, please call (305) 237-1252.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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