Why We Do What We’re Doing

The driving force behind Chemeketa Press is student success. 

The first goal of the Press was to lower the financial barrier for our students by developing and publishing textbooks that are affordable. All Chemeketa Press books cost less than $40, and most cost less than $20. 

We soon learned that we can also serve students by making the books more effective. This means writing textbooks in the plain language of non-expert students rather than the academic prose of expert faculty.

We also learned that these projects serve students by encouraging faculty to rethink and improve their courses and course materials. By working together to design the best textbook for their courses, faculty teams invariably step back from that work to consider how the course itself can be improved. 

We also found ways to serve students by including them in the process. From the start, we’ve brought in student designers to work on book production. This paid work provides them with valuable professional experience and portfolio materials as they begin their careers. With every book, we rely on student feedback to improve the effectiveness of each textbook, making students partners in this student success initiative.

Our plans to share this publishing model with others is also rooted in student success. Commercial textbook prices are so high because commercials publishers have so little competition. The more that we and other teaching colleges are able to compete with commercial publishers, the more those publishers will have to bring their prices down to reasonable and alter their operations to fit those reasonable prices. That too will lower the financial barriers for students.

If you would like to support this mission, one option is to make a donation through the Chemeketa Community College Foundation at their secure giving site. Under “Fund Designation” at their site, select Chemeketa Press Textbook Fund to make your donation to us. Thank you for helping us publish affordable and effective textbooks.

A New Model for Textbook Publishing

© 2019 Chemeketa Community College
Chemeketa Press is a proud part of Chemeketa Community College
4000 Lancaster Dr. NE, Salem, OR 97305