New Federal Textbook Rules Already In Use At MC

Who loves following federal law? I don’t! But I recently found out about new federal regulations that effects Marietta College students and their textbook purchasing decisions.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act goes into effect July 1st, and contains many different things (thanks to Disruptive Library Technology Jester for the breakdown of the law).  One part that is important to students is that there are new textbook disclosure rules to help make class selections and book purchasing decisions a bit easier.

According to the law, colleges are now required to show what books and materials are required and/or recommended for each course at the time of scheduling.  Back when you scheduled, you should have noticed a book icon listed for each class.  Clicking on the icon will tell you what is required for the course, the price, and the ISBN.  Not all classes have books listed, so you may see “To Be Determined” and “No Required Materials” notes instead.  Textbook bundles must also be sold separately, with bundled and non-bundled options listed – including pricing breakdowns.

Ed. Note – According to a rep from the National Association of College Stores, which commented on the article, books are allowed to be bundled still.  Writing on the Mall apologizes for the error.  Here’s what they said:

Under the law, institutions do not have to sell or list textbook bundles seperatly. Publishers need to disclose such information to faculty, but faculty are free to continue to adopt bundles as required. Publishers do not have to offer unbundled for any package they determine as “integrated”.

Another change is that publishers are required to tell professors more information about books they may use for classes.  Professors will now know how much the book costs, what revisions have been made to the book, and other editions of the book in different formats (including their prices).

HEOA also asks for book options to be publicized better by the institution, including renting textbooks, buying used books, and digital textbooks.

Like I mentioned earlier, Marietta College has already adopted the new requirements in its online scheduling system.

Follett Higher Education Group, the company that owns the Marietta College Bookstore, has been advertising it’s own book rental program called Rent-A-Text.  Follett is trying to compete with Chegg (A person favorite!), a popular book rental service that has been around for a few years. and Amazon are other great choices for used textbooks.

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Posted by    Date: Thursday, June 24, 2010

Categories: Academics, Students

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Common Reading Announced For Fall

I mentioned it on Facebook and Twitter the other day, but figured I would do a full write-up on my day off.

Provost Rita Smith Kipp has announced that “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” has been selected as Marietta College’s Common Reading for 2010.

I believe this is the college’s first official attempt at a common reading (a common reading for all incoming Freshmen had been discussed for last summer, but never came to fruition).

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is a book about the life of Henrietta Lacks, an African American who died of cancer at the age of 30 in 1951.  Some of her cancerous cells were taken and used for medical experimentation without consent.  The interesting thing is that the cells never died…they continue to live and multiply today.  These so-called HeLa cells have now led to numerous medical developments.  The book discusses all the angles of the case, from the ethics, to the medicines developed, and more.

According to the story on Marietta’s website, all students, faculty, and staff are being encouraged (but not required) to pick up the book.  A group discussion will be held on August 29th at 4 p.m.  No location has been announced.

If you are looking to pick up the book, Amazon has it for $16, or $14 from its affiliates. has it for anywhere between $13 and $18.

Many schools implement common readings as a way to keep students active through the summer months, and more specifically, give Freshmen classes a common point to start discussions with.  Typically the author is brought in to speak about the book, but Marietta has not said if this will happen or not.

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Posted by    Date: Monday, June 7, 2010

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FAFSA Time Again!

DSCF1129It’s that time of the year again!  Time to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid!

The Government streamlined the application and made it easier to use than ever this year.  They also added some new security features for the paranoid, including virtual keyboards to type in sensitive info like Social Security numbers.

If you’ve filled out the FAFSA online before, then most of your information will already be filled in for you.  Just add the new information, and you should be able to finish in less than 15 minutes.

For education majors, check out the new TEACH grant, which is available to students that are willing teach at low-income public or private schools, primary or secondary,  after graduation.  The grant is worth $4,000 a year

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Posted by    Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Categories: Academics, Campus, Students

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Recap from Student Speak Out

A lot of topics got covered at Student Speak Out this year…probably mostly due to the fact that 90 more students were here this year.  Here’s the gist of some of the things that got covered.  Look for more recaps throughout the rest of the week.

Food Services

Questions about food services at Marietta College always come up a lot.  Walter Miller, Director of Food Services at Marietta College, was on hand to address concerns.  Several students complained about Izzy’s…ranging from how dirty it can be at times, to them closing early because they’ve run out of food.  Walter said he would look into the issues and meet with the Izzy’s staff to address them.  Also, Walter encouraged students to submit ideas for food at locations.  This stemmed from a question regarding the fact that we now have three sandwich shops on campus.  As always, everybody complains, but never directs their concerns about the food services.  So if you want something changed, put something in the box in Gilman.

Honors Program

A lot of questions regarding scheduling of classes for the Honors Program.  Kipp addressed the issue, saying that they are looking to make class selections more orderly and predictable, while allowing for additions and substitutions.  There has been a high turnover in leadership for the Honors Program, but apparently that situation has been fixed and the College is looking to make positive changes.


According to Bruce, off-campus options will not be expanded for students any time soon.  The college is working on moving upperclassmen out of freshmen housing, but it is a slow process.  Housing will still be tight next semester.  But the bottom line is that the College is not looking to lose any income from housing, so if you’re on campus, you’re stuck.


A few students asked about adding coaches to aid the Tennis program in its development.  Athletic Director Larry Hiser said that the money is not there to hire any new staff at this point, but said that there is a plan he is working on to help the situation.  Another student asked about lighting the tennis facility so they could be used in the evening.  Hiser said he would look into the cost of adding lights to some, but not all of the courts.  However, there is no guarantee of lighting the courts anytime soon.

Fine Arts

It would appear that the Fine Arts Department is dealing with some funding cuts.  Several students came to speak about how the College was treating what looked to be more of a choir problem than instrumental or theater problem.  They have no permanent performance space.  The choir tour has faced a lot of cost cutting, links to the Fine Arts Department website have been taken off the Marietta College website, and they only have one brochure for potential students to read.  They do bring a valid point though.  8% of the student body, including many campus leaders, are involved with Fine Arts in some way.  But the funding is just not there.  Not just for their department, but for every department.  Funds could be re-allocated, according to administrators, to help fund the trip, but adding a performance space on the side of Hermann will take years to raise funds for and then build.  While a valiant effort, it will take current student’s motivation as alumni to make it happen.

Modern Languages

A few students asked if the Modern Languages department could be expanded with more faculty and staff.  Kipp said that several staff were added, but adding more faculty to teach languages cannot happen at this time.  For more faculty to be hired, more students would need to attend Marietta College.

Study Abroad and Trip Subsidies

Nope, the college is not planning on subsidizing trips abroad for some students with other students money.  International travel is expensive, but not as expensive as one would think.  The College will work with you to help raise money for trips, through grants and scholarships, but will not directly subsidize trips.

Health Center

This one was brought up by a Writing on the Mall reader.  Lon Vickers, VP of Student Activities, responded by saying that he is not happy with the current set-up and is investigating ways to fix it.  Options involve charging students more to add hours, and/or moving the health center back on campus.  At the moment, though, hours cannot be expanded.  Even with H1N1 “Swine” Flu bearing down on campus.

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Posted by    Date: Thursday, November 19, 2009

Categories: Academics, Campus

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Top 100 Most Expensive Colleges: Marietta Not Listed (Surprisingly)

DSCF1098CampusGrotto put out their annual Top 100 Most Expensive Colleges list, and Marietta College is not listed (shocking, right?).

The crown (or more likely, a Brinks Armored Truck) goes to Sarah Lawrence College, which has a total cost (tuition, room, and board) of $54,410.  Number 100 on that list, Loyola Marymount University, costs $46,880.  For once, it feels cheap to be a Marietta College student, which costs $35,112 this year.

Of course, your actual cost varies greatly, since this does not take into account how much financial aid a student gets, on average, at each institution.  What may be full price for one is free for another.

Hat Tip – The Consumerist

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Posted by    Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Categories: Academics, Students

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Top Professors at Marietta College According to Some Students

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Isaiah Creasap is a guest writer for Writing on the Mall.  He is involved with the Media Writing Two class at Marietta College, which has been submitting articles to us.  If you would like to see more like this, just let us know at patrick_h at writingonthemall dot net.

All students have their own opinion on what makes some classes more enjoyable than others; maybe it was easy, maybe it was interesting or maybe it challenged them and made them better.

The same is true for the professors of those classes. In my search for Marietta College students’ top five favorite professors, I found a variety of reasons why students like that certain professor.

Right away this was a challenge because the first 13 answers I received were all different professors which tells me something, we have great professors here at Marietta. Some push us, some make us laugh but they all care. In random order here are the top five Marietta College professors according to the students.

Read more…

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Posted by    Date: Monday, October 12, 2009

Categories: Academics, Campus, Students

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Hat Tip: MC Student's Autism Research Reaches Second Stage

The Marietta Times picked up on Marietta College’s story regarding junior Heather Haught, who has been researching the eating habits of autistic children.

Her and her partner recently completed stage one of their study, and are currently looking for volunteers to help with the second stage.  Check out the Time’s article for more information.

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Posted by    Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2009

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The Beginning of the End: Senior Year

DSCF1622Melissa is currently a Senior at Marietta College.  She has signed on to Writing on the Mall so she could share her stories as she completes her final year of classes.  Stay tuned for more stories throughout the next two semesters.

When I first walked back onto Marietta campus last week, I’d been away for 8 months. I had my first “I can’t believe I’m a senior” moment at the welcome back BBQ when I realized I hardly recognized anyone. Just a sea of unfamiliar faces…is this what it means to be a senior?
I’ve only been back a week and already I’m swamped with reading. Still, it is good being back in Marietta, though part of me feels like I have missed so much of what has gone here, having taken the opportunity to study abroad. Not that I have any regrets; it was definitely one of the highlights of my college life. If nothing else I now have a whole new appreciation for international relations! Having been back a week I’ve already gone through the familiar motions of searching for edible food in Gilman, paying for overpriced, last minute books at the College Bookstore, and saying hello to all our wonderful professors, and MC feels like home again.

But this is senior year, and everyone knows what is expected—the BIG DECISION of “what you’re going to do with your life.” The options seem pretty grim. Graduate and enter the work force in a state with the highest unemployment levels? In this current economic climate do we take the leap into the workforce and start repaying our loans, not knowing if our job will be there in six months? How about grad school? We are already so completely buried in a mountain of debt what is the harm of another 2 years? Playing the odds, the recession may have turned around and we can enter a workforce as fresh young faces with brand new MA’s. Whatever our options, the time to make the decision will come too fast, and our time left at this institution will seem too short.

An article in Time magazine this year starkly points out “companies surveyed for the group’s spring update are planning to hire 22% fewer grads from the class of 2009 than they hired from the class of 2008, a big letdown from the group’s projections in October that hiring would hold steady. Some 44% of companies in the survey, conducted last month, said they plan to hire fewer new grads, and another 22% said they do not plan to hire at all this spring, more than double last year’s figure.”

Grad school already sounds better…

And then there’s the other aspect of being a senior; the engagements, the weddings planned for after graduation, friends settling down to start families. Just in the past two months I’ve been to weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, and engagement parties, all for people around my age. Here I am, absorbed in being a senior and whatever life after MC lays before me, yet life has truly already begun for those around me. In the current climate none of us can really be sure of where our paths will lead us, though with the right people around us it will certainly be easier and even more rewarding.

I guess being a senior means just that: we ought to use this time not to party as much as we can, or suck up to professors we don’t like in hopes they’ll write us great recommendations, but to strengthen our relationships with those who matter to us. Senior year is a reminder that before we know it our lives will have completely changed, and we should make the most of our time here before it’s gone.

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Posted by    Date: Monday, August 31, 2009

Categories: Academics, Campus, Students

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Marietta College Ties for 6th in the Midwest!

DSCF1146The US News and World Report: America’s Best Colleges list is finally out, and Marietta College tied for 6th place in the Baccalaureate Colleges – Midwest Region.

While it did not beat out all other OAC schools like in the Forbes Poll (Ohio Northern University was second to Taylor University), it did beat out #33 Wilmington College.  No other OAC colleges were ranked.  Marietta was tied for 6th with Cedarville University and Huntington University.

Marietta was also included on the list of schools with International students (9% of campus population), economic diversity (26% of students obtain Pell grants), diversity (index score of .13), and retention (73.2% freshmen retention).

Once again, another ranking of colleges, another great day to be a Pioneer!

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Posted by    Date: Thursday, August 20, 2009

Categories: Academics, Campus

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The Moose Lodge is No More

Some of you may have heard last Spring that the College had purchased the Moose Lodge.  Immediately the possibilities spun in everybody’s head as to what the college may be doing with the building.  Would it be a new Gathering Place?  Be used for the art department?  Be torn down and used for a new dorm?  A new dining hall?

Well, as it turns out, none of that.  The Physician’s Assistant program had the building gutted and re-configured in what was the least known about campus construction.  While crews raced to finish the Legacy Library and the Planetarium, demolition and construction began within the Moose Lodge.

The new building allows the college to expand the program and allow more students.  30 students were accepted this fall, and 36 more will be admitted to the program next fall.  The program started in 2002 with 15 students, and could only accept 22 students at most.

For more information about the Moose Lodge and its new use, check out the article at the Marietta Times.

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Posted by    Date: Friday, August 14, 2009

Categories: Academics, Campus

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