Unlike in high school, textbooks are not covered by your school district, nor do they send you a list of books you need for the start of the school year, where the only thing you have to do is pick them up. It, unfortunately, does not work like that. Like with any type of schooling, some form of textbook and/or workbook is usually required no matter the school, major, or class. Sometimes, you get lucky and there is no textbook, but that usually means your professor uploaded some type of literature for you to read throughout the semester. Anyway, the textbook itself could be the typical understanding of textbook or it could be a literary book, like the Canterbury Tales, or a published book and/or article by one of your professors such as “Ethnopolitics in Cyberspace: The Internet, Minority Nationalism, and the Web of Identity” (2010) by Dr. Robert Saunders, former chair of the Science, Technology and Society (STS) program at FSC.
When you go to class, your professor will generally provide you with a hard copy of the syllabus on your first day of class, or they will upload it to Blackboard, the online program FSC chooses to use for announcements and assignments. The textbooks the professors list do not mean that you have to purchase them for yourself. Some professors use them as a guide, as a reference, or tell you assignments will be given out of the textbook. Now, that still does not mean you have to purchase them because these textbooks can be really expensive and add up very fast! They could cost you “an arm and a leg”, but do not let this scare you! FSC is your friend and they want to help you because they get it! Professors understand that you have other responsibilities and expenses, so they usually try to pick a cheaper book (an older version) if the textbook is absolutely necessary and/or needed for class.
So let’s talk about your options! Our college uses Barnes & Noble as our book provider. The bookstore is where most students get their textbooks; workbooks; certain electronics such as laptops, covers, chargers; reference books like dictionaries and nursing books; or even certain supplies like goggles, lab coats, candy, FSC attire, etc. Anyway, the bookstore has everything you need to start your semester off right.
Anyway, the bookstore has everything you need to start your semester in the best way, and a majority of the time you do not even have to use them. All of the textbooks FSC uses are available from other companies such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chegg.com, or ecampus.com. You can purchase new or used, rent new or used, or even get it digital. For those orders that do not reach the minimum to get free shipping and you’re short on time, the bookstore price matches books directly sold by Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you find a cheaper price no matter the condition (new or used), the bookstore will match it. Another perk at FSC is that if you are tight on cash or you only have a few assignments, or have a question about something discussed in class, you can go to the library, specifically the circulation desk, and borrow it as a reference book for two hours at a time. If you need more time, no problem. Just ask the clerk at the desk and if no one is waiting for the book, you will easily get another two hours. All you need to do is bring your FSC student ID card with you and the book is all yours! Ha-ha!
Personally, the reference availability is amazing because almost every book the students at FSC need, no matter their major/minor, are located in one location. Being a Criminal Justice: LET major, along with obtaining three minors that are not similar, you can imagine how many textbooks I have been required or recommended to have. In fact, I believe throughout my four years here, there was only one textbook the school did not have when there was one designated to the class I was taking. The library services are outstanding and I use them all the time. It really helps knowing that there are multiple resources and they are easily accessible at school even if I left the textbook at home. If I do not feel like lugging that super heavy book with me on top all the other materials I need to be successful in class and I have a break between classes, I can get work done. No matter what you choose, FSC is there to help!