Simpson College students received an email from SCCommuncations notifying the student body that the college is transitioning to a new online bookstore model beginning in the Spring 2023 semester.
Students can access a personalized course page by logging into the online bookstore with their Simpsons email. The personalized courses page lists the students’ enrolled courses and the textbooks assigned by the professors.
Students who have had problems can email Spirit Shop Director Kyle McVay for help or questions.
“I will say that there were very few students this semester who didn’t know what the change was, but we have signs with a QR code to direct students to the new bookstore site,” McVay said. “There were a couple of instances where the information wasn’t available to the students, but that was due to a lack of information from the teacher, which was rectified within 24 hours.”
Some students do not use the online bookstore offered by Simpson. Instead, they prefer Amazon, Chegg, or other sites that sell textbooks.
Wendy Soto, a junior theater major, and Kate Minette, a graphic design and computer information systems major, explained that they use other websites to order textbooks.
Simpson no longer sells textbooks personally, meaning students cannot see the physical copy before purchasing it. Soto’s friend ordered a textbook from an online bookstore and received a dented, uncovered book.
“I think it’s more convenient to see what book you’re getting to see how dented it is before you get it,” Soto said.
The students received reminder emails from the bookstore reminding them to order their textbooks. Soto and Minette both found it helpful. Soto and Minette also saw no difference compared to the website Simpson had previously used.
Professors use an online form to enter what textbooks they need for each class they teach. Before the changeover, professors would have to fill out an Excel spreadsheet. Graphic Design Professor Justin Nostrala had no issues with the new bookstore, finding it easier and much smoother to use.
Because of the transition to running his own liquor store, Simpson decided to switch to an online-only bookstore. So the search for an online textbook provider began. The college had three options to consider and Akademos was the winning provider.
Akademos offers savings opportunities, has access to new or used textbooks that students can borrow or buy, and also offers e-books. The service gives students access to a nationwide marketplace where they can sell back textbooks, even if they weren’t purchased through Akademos.
“Akademos works with many colleges in Iowa, and we’ve checked references at Wartburg, Central, Clarke, Coe, Mercy College of Health Sciences, and Buena Vista. The feedback I received couldn’t have been more positive, and the students and faculty raved about Akademos,” says Megan Shultz, Director of Presidential Initiatives said. “We have worked very closely with the Akademos team during our transition and they have been nothing short of phenomenal in ensuring a smooth transition for our students and faculty in a very short period of time.”