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Book store’s equitable access program hopes to ‘achieve’ more second semester 

MOORHEAD – Approximately 71% of students opted in to the ACHIEVE Program during its first semester, according to the director of bookstore operations, PJ Hines.  

The ACHIEVE program is an affordable and convenient way for students to access course materials.  

All students are opted-in to the ACHIEVE Program every semester, and the program fee is added to tuition statements. Even if a student has opted out for a semester, they will be automatically opted back into the program for the next semester.  

For this upcoming semester, the opt-out period is from Nov. 15 to Nov. 30. 

The ACHIEVE Program’s fee is set prior to the beginning of each new school year so that students can plan for it as part of the cost of attendance, according to the bookstore’s website.  

This year’s ACHIEVE Program fee is $350 per semester. 

The ACHIEVE Program delivers ISBN-required course materials directly to campus for students to pick up which makes ordering and shipping books much more convenient for students, Hines said.  

“Students would come in the beginning of the semester over maybe a couple of weeks and then they would be looking to purchase or rent their course materials. And then if we were sold out of those course materials, they have to place a special order. So, then they’d have to come back again to pick up their special order. Now, the materials are in the boxes and all they have to do is pick them up and log into the digital library” Hines said.  

Though the ACHIEVE program has been very beneficial for students, there is one drawback to the program: the lack of access to non-ISBN course materials.  

First-year student Jeremiah Russell’s courseload includes an introductory English writing course where the professor assigned documentaries that were only available on Apple TV or through the library, limiting access for students within the course.  

Russell participates in various music and theater ensembles that limit the time he has to spend in the library.  

“With the library not being open 24/7, it was hard to find time throughout my day with my schedule where I could go and watch the documentaries in the library,” Russell said. “I would love for these videos to be included within the ACHIEVE Program, where I can watch them at my own pace from the convenience of wherever” Russell said.  

With this being the first semester of the ACHIEVE Program, there are improvements being discussed. One such improvement being an increase in digital and non-ISBN content.  

“We are striving for our goal of having digital content be 55% of our overall program use right now. For the first semester, we landed at 39%. So, I would say more digital content where possible will be coming for that. But now in the second semester of the program, we’re starting to investigate what maybe wouldn’t necessarily be ISBN specific. We’ve reached out to different departments on campus to find out what else are you asking your students to consider purchasing,” Hines said. 

They have been able to acquire a few non-ISBN related course materials and students will start to see some things covered in future semesters to come.  

For students within the ACHIEVE Program in the second semester, they will receive an email letting them know when their books are ready to be picked up from the bookstore.  

Though students have had a positive response to the program, students who opted out can also see the benefit within the program. 

“I decided to opt out because I have a friend within the same major and he was letting me borrow his books. It would have been cheaper and more convenient to not take part within the program,” first-year student India Carlson said. “I do see how the ACHIEVE Program can benefit students and it is a very convenient program, but for me, it isn’t beneficial with my courseload.” 

If students would like to keep certain course material or if they forget to return a book, students will be charged the book buyout price. Prices for book buyout vary per book and can be found on the book order screen. 

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