Baker 360° takes over SPGS

Story by Sarah Day, News Editor

The Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies (SPGS) is experiencing a new form of learning this year through the Baker 360° Program.

This program was piloted last year and has now fully launched at the SPGS campus after collecting data from students and researching various publishers. Baker 360° provides students with eBooks and other resources through Pearson Education at a one-time cost of $99 per course. Once these materials hit a student’s account, they are there indefinitely.

Interim Dean of the School of Professional and Graduate Studies Emily Ford said that Baker 360° allows students to utilize textbooks and other support opportunities in a new way.

EBooks provide students with  supplemental study tools such as flash cards regarding the subject and have the ability to be highlighted as well.

“360° has become a solution for the students in regard to the issues of affordability, materials for online classes and the need for career services,” Ford said.

According to Ford, students were gravitating toward eBooks and purchasing textbooks through outside online vendors.

The program is embedded in Moodle and, according to Ford, has received great praise from the students since it is meeting their needs, all study tools are located in one place and each course has a minimum of three resources included. Students are able to customize their experience based on their needs for a particular course.

Ford also said that Baker 360° is very reliable since students are guaranteed a hard copy of the book rented from the Baker Bookstore at the same fee of $99 if the online materials are not available for any reason.

Because the majority of the graduate programs are completed online, the program is only available at the SPGS campus so far. However, Ford said that data is being shared with the University’s other campuses so that research can be conducted regarding whether or not this program would be beneficial to more traditional students.

President Lynne Murray said, “Whether or not the program rolls out to other campuses will depend on its level of demand and how it, or efforts like it, can be implemented to further student academic success.”

Director of Marketing and Communication Dolores Kitchin stressed that Baker 360° is not a program to replace face-to-face interaction among participants.

“If students determine to solely seek online solutions, they will miss out on the broader learning opportunities provided by faculty members, other classmates and their academic adviser,” Kitchin said.

Baker continues to be dedicated to assisting its students for a lifetime, according to Ford. She said the Baker 360° program is a key piece of this idea since it assists with multiple facets of a student’s education and the career experiences that follow.

“[Our goal is to] meet the needs of students during their academic years and beyond,” Ford said.