Student Store struggles with straggling order forms

Faculty who are not informing the bookstore on a timely manner of the textbooks they plan to use for the spring 2014 semester impact students and revenue for the Student Store.

With the deadline for instructors and professors to submit textbook adoption forms — which specify the reading materials that will be used for each class next semester — just passing, a little more than half of the total number of instructors have turned their papers in, according to Candy Van, assistant bookstore manager.

“We still receive orders when school starts,” Van said. “It’s the same as when a student doesn’t meet his deadline in class.”

The textbook order deadlines, which are set mid-October and mid-April, were created so that the textbook selections can be provided along with the schedule of classes, according to the textbook adoption policy.

“Every campus is fighting the issue of departments not turning in [their papers] on time,” Van said. “It’s a dilemma all over the nation.”

When instructors turn in their textbook adoption forms late, the bookstore orders the books late, and the Student Store won’t be able to stock up early, she said.

“The student could go somewhere else to look for the books,” Van said.

This chain reaction is even worse for textbooks that are custom-made for Pierce College classes.

Custom textbook — books that are put together with sections specifically chosen by the instructors to cater to their particular classes — take longer to shelf.

While regular textbooks take seven to 10 days to shelf, custom textbooks can take up to two weeks to receive, according to Book Buyer Juan Catalan.

In addition to made-for-Pierce College books, custom texts include bundles that include, for example, the main textbooks, electronic copies, workbooks and unique online codes. Though these books take longer to process, they are beneficial to students in the long run.

“Theoretically it saves students money,” said Cara Gillis, chair of the Pierce ethics committee.

Van says that while the Student Store is a business, its priority is the students. If professors turn in their adoption forms late, especially for custom books, they are hurting student success.

“If students want to study in advanced they can’t,” Van said.