Southeast Faculty Members Customize Textbook to Course

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Aug. 27, 2004 – A committee of Southeast faculty and staff has recently prepared a new custom textbook for the University’s first-year seminar course. The course, which is required for all incoming first-year students, introduces students to Southeast’s University Studies program and helps them develop research, critical thinking and communication skills.

The new textbook, First-Year Seminar for the Students of Southeast Missouri State University, is published by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Custom-publishing the textbook allowed the group to tailor the book to exactly fit the needs of the course, according to Dr. Leon Book, director of Southeast’s First-Year Experience program and chair of the committee.

“We couldn’t get what we wanted for the course because it’s not offered in a commercially available text,” Book said. “We decided to put this book together because it allowed us to provide materials to students and instructors that directly address the course goals. The only way to do that is to cobble together a custom text.”

Customizing the textbook allowed the committee to include chapters from several textbooks, as well as a variety of journal and magazine articles, that addressed their needs. The group also wrote additional information for the book, and further personalized it for the campus community by featuring a number of photos from Southeast, including a photo of Academic Hall that graces the front cover.

“If this book is as effective in students’ and teachers’ hands as it is attractive, then we’re in for a real treat,” Book said. “It’s for our campus, about our campus,” he added.

Publishing the book specifically for the campus was also less expensive than purchasing an existing textbook, which served as an additional benefit, according to Book.

The committee responsible for compiling the textbook included Book; Dr. Bruce Domazlicky, professor of economics; Dr. Allen Gathman, professor of biology; Dr. Cindy Gordinier, assistant professor of education; Dr. Gloria Green, associate professor of nursing; Dr. Dale Haskell, professor of English; Kim Madigan, coordinator of special programs and services for Southeast’s School of Polytechnic Studies; and Claudia Ruediger, associate professor with Kent Library.