Ed Hooks Explains Why His Popular Acting Book Is No Longer Available To Art Institutes Students

Last weekend we broke the story about Mike Tracy, a veteran teacher at the Art Institute of California–Orange County who is being threatened with termination by the school’s management because he refused to force his students to buy E-textbooks that he felt were unnecessary. Since we published the story, we’ve learned that the E-textbook controversy extends far beyond Mike Tracy’s plight and affects teachers and students at many of The Art Institutes schools.

There are over fifty Art Institutes colleges in the United States, all owned by Education Management Corporation (EDMC). The art school chain has begun the process of switching all its schools to an E-book system called Digital Bookshelf. The switch to E-textbooks has met resistance at multiple schools, including Art Institute of Philadelphia. That school’s Faculty Federation complained about EDMC’s E-textbook policy a few months ago:

“EDMC continues to insist on e-books only and wants sole discretion over what e-books are used, compromising faculty independence and expertise in choosing best resources for class.”

To understand how EDMC’s “Digital Bookshelf” works, here’s a downloadable PDF explaining the system for their online courses. In this case, the Art Institute online program charges a “digital resource fee” of between $50-$75 for each class. In return, students receive a temporary copy of an e-textbook. In many cases, printed versions of the books can be purchased for a lower price, but according to the school, “If you choose to purchase a printed copy of a textbook that is available through Digital Bookshelf, you will be responsible for both the Digital Resource Fee and the cost of the textbook.”

That means every student enrolled at the Art Institutes is required to use EDMC’s Digital Bookshelf system. Not only that, but the Digital Bookshelf system isn’t open to every publisher, but only to those publishers who have signed a deal with EDMC’s E-book technology vendor, Vital Source. That means Art Institute students have to buy all their E-books from a single book distributor.

In the case of teacher Mike Tracy, he was being forced to choose a random E-textbook that he felt was unnecessary for his students. But there’s a flipside to the story. Sometimes a teacher at one of the Art Institute schools may want to use a particular E-textbook, but they can’t because it hasn’t been acquired by EDMC’s vendor, VitalSource.

Ed Hooks, author of the popular animation textbook Acting for Animators, explained to Cartoon Brew how his book is no longer available to Art Institutes students, even though his book is widely available in both print AND as an E-textbook, and is highly demanded by Art Institutes teachers:

My book Acting for Animators was published late last year in a revised third edition by Routledge/London.  Not too long after it came out, I received an e-mail from an Art Institute animation teacher in Texas.  He told me that the headquarter of the AI schools, located in Pittsburgh, had established a new textbook policy.  From then going forward, all text books must be e-books.  No more hard or soft cover. He was worried that my book might not be available in e-book format, explaining that it was one he recommended to all of his AI students.  

As it happened, Routledge was at that moment in between E-Book distributors.  They were in the process of vetting a new one and expected to announce E-Book available for all of their titles shortly.  I passed this positive message along to the teacher in Texas.

A few weeks later, I received an e-mail from an Art Institute Project Manager in Pittsburgh. He wanted my publisher Routledge to hurry up with that E-book availability because the time was near when textbook titles would have to be set in concrete for AI’s schools.  If E-Books were not available, AI would no longer be able to recommend or use “Acting for Animators”, I forwarded his e-mail to my editor, which instigated a trans-atlantic back-and-forth e-mail conversation, with the Art Institute representative specifying the particular KIND of e-book format he wanted.  He wanted Routledge to contract with VitalSource and even gave my editor a personal contact at VitalSource.  

Mind you, every single e-mail from the man in Pittsburgh mentioned the large number of potential sales we would be forfeiting if we did not do the E-Book thing according to AI’s blueprint.  

In the end, Routledge went with some other e-book distributor, and the man in Pittsburgh said he was sorry but that was that. It was out of his hands.  No more Acting for Animators book at any of the Art Institutes.  

My editor in London is a decent man and he felt personally terrible that he and Routledge had just cost one of its authors many thousands of book sales.  I told him not to worry about it because serious students would sooner or later find “Acting for Animators” on their own.

As an author myself, I would never allow any publisher to sell a book I wrote to EDMC’s “Digital Bookshelf.” The set-up sounds like it benefits neither myself nor my publishers. But the biggest losers in this scenario appear to be the students who attend Art Institutes schools. According to Mike Tracy, they are being forced to purchase books deemed unnecessary by their teachers, and now, as Ed Hooks points out, they are being denied books that the school’s teachers feel are needed.


  • http://eyetoon.com Bill Vallely

    I live down the road from The Art Institute of Orange County. Last year, I tried to sign up for a class in Action Scripting. I was informed it was impossible – I could only sign up as a full time, four year, student. I instead went to Lynda.com, which charges $25.00 a month for unlimited classes.

    Higher education has become a scam in America.

    • Rini

      I had the exact same experience, the “recruiter” told me it was impossible to take one class, but I should look at their certificate programs. I went with Lynda.com as well.

    • http://www.youtube.com/MrCromartie1989 AC

      Wish I already knew that back when I was 17. In my defense, I had some hesitation but my grandma insisted on “YOU’RE GOING TO COLLEGE!” Here I am at 22 with a $60,000+ debt, and not a damn thing learned about animation that I didn’t teach myself.

  • Brad

    “Education Management Corporation” really sounds quite Orwellian, doesn’t it?

  • Henri

    You’re better off. After having gone to that school and a handful of others, I have learned that you really have to look beyond the walls of a school to learn what you will need in the industry of your choice. Colleges with their “degrees” earn you nothing but a chance to teach down the road. Simple classes that should be at the core of any educations are dismissed while other non-relevant or inadequate classes are placed in their stead. While I do agree education is important, spend your money on places like Animation Mentor, I-Animate, or the like for animation education and get your degree in whatever you can as quickly and cheaply as you can. Your REAL education will happen at those proprietary schools while colleges will have you stressing to learn what they won’t teach you forcing you to find your success inevitably through the aforementioned schools.

  • http://- nunnya business

    the school is forcing us to use these two ebooks per class. we get to pick from crappy and crappiest. imagine if a tire business only sold two tires. hmm?

    mr tracy is saying not only does he not need an ebook he can run his class and not use a textbook period. as do many of our instructors here on campus. we recommend them to students but if we have taught here for a while we have plenty of resources to use on our own instead of mandating ebooks; which expire in 5 years and you cant print them out…!!!!! wtf?

    the whole faculty here is disgusted with this policy and anyone who has fought it even remotely has been informed we would be terminated if they do not comply… i need my job period. my boss is having the same problem and it isnt the faculties fault its the new owners goldman suck the world dry sachs firing 550 full time faculty (saving average 80k per instructor) and enforcing the ebook on every student (in some cases selling the same book to the same students twice for 50 each for the beg and advanced class of same subject… ( 5 million profit annually there)

    so either edmc or gold/sacks owns this business and when are they going to leave us to do our job? maybe after they destroy it like they did the economy then buy a school when all jobless people go back to school to get a better degree…yet the same assholes that own the economy destruction now profit from you trying to degree yourself… and i assume they are looking for bottom line sales figure and sell it off for massive profit…

  • booksmart

    The comments above are true. As a member of faculty at AIOC I have been frustrated at these new business decisions. These choices go way up the chain of command past the president of our school, who will most likely get the brunt of this.

    As faculty, we have to adjust our classes to match an e-book that we didn’t want to use OR we just ignore the e-book and explain that it is ‘supplementary’ to the curriculum. Either way, the students get the bill for an electronic book they won’t use, can’t print and will expire in 5ys. The registrar gives any attempt at refunds the complete runaround, until the students give up because they are too busy with other matters (like schoolwork).

    Adjusting the class to match an e-book infringes on my right to teach the class the way I choose, the way I have been teaching it at the same school for 8 years.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Somehow I feel glad for not ever going back past the 90′s.

  • http://fmhansen.com Frank M Hansen

    All I can say is, very lame, very lame indeed.

  • http://whataboutthad.com Thad

    Though I learned much from one or two of my [GREAT] teachers at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, that school and institution are largely to thank for helping me in my decision to abandon animation and art as a professional career. Thanks, guys! You have my eternal gratitude.

    • booksmart

      One of the many things learned in college is exactly what a particular discipline is really about and if it is truly for you. Lesson learned.
      Sadly many students also get a 100K loan bill to learn that.

  • http://celtherapy.net Kev

    This is a terrible situation. How is anyone supposed feel encourage about their education when shady stuff like this is going on? AI sees this as a business opportunity, not something that actually helps the students and faculty. By funneling select e-books through their “digital bookshelf” and forcing students to pay their fee, the institutes are getting more cash.

  • A Writer

    College is a joke anyway. i mean finish High School yes but if you’re trying to be a painter, a writer, a visual dev artist or anything that involves creativity that doesn’t warrant a degree then why go? You’re better off saving thousands of dollars and plenty of headaches by learning yourself. You develop your own style and your own way of approaching your work instead of being a carbon copy of a person that wasn’t able to achieve the success you wanted so ended up becoming a teacher (although some WANT to teach and i have no idea why)

    • A teacher

      As someone who both works in the industry and teaches, I know why I want to continue teaching. Watching horrible demo reels from students with a “quality” education has become a bit of an on-going joke. I decided to start teaching as a way to make at least 1 of the 100 reels I see something worthwhile. I teach the fundamentals, and until a student demonstrates an understanding, I don’t go any further. Not all teachers are failures, and I pity that your opinion of them is so low. Maybe the people who taught you didn’t achieve their goals, but to broadly paint all teachers as such only demeans yourself. And if you think that all teachers are making bank, I make 4 times as much in my industry job, but I find the teaching to be more satisfying.

      • A Writer

        Did i say all teachers are failures? read my comment again.

  • My Suggestion

    is faculty should find jobs at schools that want to teach and students should find a better school. When AI can no longer attract faculty or students we’ll be through with this stupidity.

  • a student

    This is absolutely horrifying. As someone who attends one of the AI schools and has ALREADY been wanting to quit (but is too far along to simply stop), this just makes me dread finishing my studies there even more. I can’t believe how badly I’m getting screwed by this school, and it worsens every single year.

    I am quite fond of many of the instructors, as they are genuinely likeable and talented people, so this makes me feel even worse that they have to cope with this nonsense as well. We’re all victims it seems.

    I can tell you that even though I’m obligated to finish at this point, going to an AI school has been THE worst mistake of my life, and I’m going to be paying for it for a long, long time (and probably from an entirely different career). Thank you EDMC for not only wasting my money, but wasting years of my life as well. Years that could have been better spent than ruining my own life for your sake.

    • Jeff

      Obligated to finish? You should familiarize yourself with the economic term “sunk cost”. Google it or read this fairly straightforward explanation of it: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/05/ignore-sunk-costs.html
      Short explanation? If I was getting screwed like this and didn’t think it would get me where I wanted to be in the future, I’d drop out, whether I was 4 years or 4 months from graduating.

  • TStevens

    The textbook industry has been a major thorn in the side of educational insititutions for decades. The need of text book companies to constantly turn a profit forces institutions to purchase new versions of books whether they need them or not. For years the publishers were scared of how to negotiate the e-books. Apparently they have succeeded by making the schools and students pay exhorbitant fees that make up for what they would have had in the old days when everything was on paper.

    I remember when I was in school for animation there were no books. We had copies of old notes from studios that were several generations past the original including the infamous Brad Bird “Storyboaarding The Simpson’s Way, stacks of notes from Glen Keane, Eric Larson, notebooks of old model sheets from every studio, and so on. In fact, prior to 3D, animation was handed down and not really taught. Most of the critical things that I learned came from a teacher who just happen to cruise by my desk and show me something that he learned from some guy in toronto, who learned it from some guy who worked at Disney, who learned it from one of the Nine Old Men! That was how it worked. Not anymore. Now it is all about turning kids out through a mill so they can be sent in to an industry that won’t hire them because they have little to no practical experience or 99% matching criteria on their resume.

    I’m glad I’m not entering the industry now.

    • http://edd.ca.gov/default.htm Unemployed Grad

      I make about 15 phone calls a day to line producers, gate keepers, recruiters, and independent directors for story boarding work and I can’t find it. The animation union makes these companies post jobs even though they have already been filled by friends of the director. When was the last time a director went through a HUGE stack of portfolios and said, “That’s the one”? Never.

      The only work I’ve ever got in this field was from bugging studios once a week. Just horrible, but what the hell are we suppose to do? Wait for a response?

      There are some programs from Disney and Dreamworks that hire young artist for internship programs. They get them trained, and then they let them go. And they ONLY hire out of Cal Arts. Some people disagree, it’s a fact sorry.

      So now students flock to Cal Arts hoping to get work in the future. $200 K for 4 years? Add up how many graduating students there are each year at OVER PRICED Art institutions across the country with how many companies are hiring for animation (oh, and no experience) Oh but wait, here’s the bill. I hope you don’t plan on buying a house in the next 30 years trying to pay it off working at Starbucks.

      I’ve heard, “The art speaks for itself” nope sorry, it doesn’t. First question: Let me see your resume and where you have worked in the past? Are you kidding me? I was in college for the last four years.

      This is my favorite saying that I hear: “Why don’t you become a PA for a studio? Studios are now ONLY hiring people with NO animation or art backgrounds for PA work. Because they know you want to become an artist, and they don’t want to be bothered with it. This will also hurt your storyboarding career as well.

      If this is the animation industry, then were in trouble. Students and Grad’s will have to quit and work at a bank or go back to school for something else. We really need a better plan for the young. What happens when the old folks die out? The young guys haven’t been able to draw everyday after working a 10 hour shift at crapshack. This is the first time in animation history that grads are competing with veterans. Your telling me that I’m supposed to be better than them? Hell to the no.

      I encourage all artist who want to be in this business to make their OWN projects, collaborate with others and use Kickstarter. The internet is the most useful tool, so put your work out there and make your own films.

      Screw the animation corporate system, it ain’t working.
      John K just raised 120,000 on kickstarter, AMAZING!

      That’s enough ranting, stay positive, live at home, and maybe one day the right people will be in charge of animation. Hopefully in our life time.

      • Moni

        I can concur with everything you’ve said and some!

      • Great

        As a student, I’m curious, is the Calarts thing true? D:

      • anonaly

        Great: Someone who doesn’t work in the industry probably isn’t the best source of information.

      • Great

        ha! I guess. Hopefully not true, but it does seem that way.

      • anonaly

        Great: it’s not true. There are people who never went to CalArts working in the industry as artists. Also keep in mind that there is a lot of competition to get into the school, so the students going generally are are very talented; then they have another 4 years to hone their craft surrounded by other very talented people. You’re really competing with that, but it’s not impossible.

        If you are concerned about your school, look at your faculty. Have they worked professionally for more than one or two years? Do they teach what you want to focus on, or are you trying to ‘make the program fit’? Do they teach draftsmanship? painting? life drawing?

      • Great

        Given me a lot to think about, heading into my senior year at noname art school for storyboard (debt included!), so doubt I’ll be able to go to the calarts, Hopefully it all pans out, thank you!

      • Very True

        I actually work in the industry, and what Unemployed Grad says is very true. There was a storyboarding test going around a few months back for a very popular show right now. Lots of people wasted their time working on the test because the show creator had already decided from the beginning which friend of his he was going to hire.

      • Great

        Yeah, been doing some reading over the internets and it seems, officially it’s “not true”, but for the most part it is.

        Shit.

      • anonaly

        Great: it’s not true in that it’s not *always* the case. Yes, Directors hire people they know – because generally speaking, they know the person can do the job that needs to be done. I was hired out of school as an unknown based on a test, and I know others that had the same experience. (I did not attend a private art school.)

        Is it enough to have a good portfolio? No. That’s what networking is for, and getting your name (and work!) out there. It also takes a bit of timing – if there aren’t any jobs available, you’ll have to wait it out. But without a good portfolio (stunning or awesome would be better!) networking or job availability isn’t going to matter.

  • Tory

    Not just in animation, in every subject, in every school, the text book industry is a fraud and a ripoff of the student base. I learned more from the teachers who uses real books. These textbook giants and this ebook fraud needs to be destroyed.

  • http://www.animatorisland.com/ J.K. Riki

    Price you pay to go to a private school. The simple thing is to not attend them if you don’t want to put up with their policies. There are many options out there, and in many (as said in several comments above) you are forced to buy certain books (e or otherwise) whether they are used in a class or not. Welcome to the system, use it or don’t, it’s YOUR choice, not theirs.

    That being said, the title of this article is rather hyperbole. Students of AI (just like any free American person) can buy whatever books they want, just as any AI teacher can recommend any author. If it is not “required” by the class, all the better. Let the students who truly want to take advice ask for and receive it, but the vast majority who are just going through the motions (as I once did the first go around) go through the motions and learn next to nothing because they aren’t actually trying. They are there because you are “supposed” to go to college for a degree at that point in your life. Which frankly I think is the very wrong time to do it, since the majority I’ve found are still the foolish kids of their youth and not the actual human beings they will end up being the rest of their lives. Some exceptions apply, of course.

    You get out what you put in. And it’s your choice to attend or not.

    • Skinner 2

      Was this written by management at Ai? “you get out what you put in” give me a break, that has nothing to do with corporate greed. Non-profit schools require books, but only at the discretion of the instructor. The reason is, they trust that the instructor knows more about the subject then some corporate administrator.

      I went to a private school and trust me, they DO NO operate like this. There is no profit motive built into the system. Their first priority is creating the best possible student. Corporations are in the business to make money, not spread good will. By definition a corporation like this first priority is to their shareholders, even if that is just a few guys holding them at the top.

      It’s not what you put into it. I put a lot of money into my my house, that doesn’t mean I will get that much out. What a lame excuse equating effort to greed.

  • Ana

    The students are losing out on all sides. Not only are we forced to buy the e-book for the same price as a physical copy, but that e-book EXPIRES!!! At least when a physical copy of the book was required for class, you would have that book as a reference later, if you chose to keep it, or could sell it back, if you needed the money or no longer needed the book.

    That Art Institutes are not the only schools that embrace this method either. It is a growing trend to “encourage” more book sales in college – all the while, ripping more money out of students pockets. Tuition cost inflation is 400% higher than medical cost inflation.

    With the current generation leaving school with more than $50,000 in student loans, at high interest rates, and the job market being so fickle, I feel that future generations will not attend college at all, and resort back to more trade industries and apprenticeship.

    Parents will be unable to save up for their children’s colleges because they’re too busy paying off their own student loans. Couples will wait 10 years or more to buy a house because they can’t get financing for a mortgage. Salaries will go down, because there are so many over-qualified people willing to work just to put food on the table. Its a slippery slope, and the bubble is ready to burst again.

    • Moni

      Otis College has a similar policy with the books. Must buy for class! They also forced you the take unnecessary classes like “integrated learning” which is a made up class to create art in the community but near goes anywhere to help the community. It was one of many classes that Otis force you to take instead of focusing on your core or studio classes so you can get great in your craft, i.e., vfx, 3D, mographics, concept art, etc. Alot of students are bound to the $150K-200K tuition without a job now, including myself, because of not being trained diligently in your core study.

  • Jens

    Come and get your student visa to any european country now ;) None of that crap here -yet. Plus tuition fees are a fraction of the cost. Studies in germany and austria are almost free, like education shuould be! And even the UK is probably still cheaper compared to the ridiculous prices in the us.

  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron B.

    Sounds a lot like how certain public high schools are run. Regarding text books, I mean.

    A lot of comments have rightfully pointed out that private, post-secondary educational institutions have a right to format their curriculum tracks as they see fit. But it’s part an entire universe of behaviors tied to making money off of books in education can splinter into a million different pieces.

    U.S. states are beholden to education collectives, guided by advisers with zero public education experience, who argue and lobby for changes to textbooks every two or three years that are read by tens of millions of unsuspecting kids. Public high schools may assist students with an in-house “bookstore,” but the selection is limited because of an agreement the district has signed with a publisher or distributor. Some teachers integrate assignments that specifically require students to select novels from the local bookstores instead, because the diversity is so much more grand.

    And on the college level, some professors take advantage of the kind of system that the Art Institutes seems to be using. I once took a seminar on Gandhi studies and religion. One of the books we purchased was edited by the professor. Turns out, we never cracked the cover of that book… he just wanted to kick up the number of titles sold for his publisher. Now, imagine if an author maneuvers his work such that it benefits specifically from EDMC’s E-book technology vendor. “Made specifically for this class! You can’t find this information anywhere else!” Cash monies, right?

  • http://muzegraphics.com Moopfish

    I’m a graduate from AIFL. I loved the students and teachers, however EDMC is a shady bunch of money-hungry, greedy, shmucks. That’s what happens when you’re in cahoots with Goldman Sachs (41% owned).

    They threatened recruiters if they didn’t pull in X amount of students. I heard things from working there for minimum wage (no hope of a raise) so I could afford basic necessities while attending.

    “If you choose to purchase a printed copy of a textbook that is available through Digital Bookshelf, you will be responsible for both the Digital Resource Fee and the cost of the textbook.”

    Sense. It makes none. Who pay 50$ to RENT a BOOK?

    The for-profit college bubble is going to explode soon, and they know it. I say good, however. EDMC big wigs need to take the cuts, not the teachers and staff, but we all know the teachers and students are going to suffer because of those greedy bastards.

    • Bob.

      Yeah, the EDMC “big wigs” will be just fine. There are still a lot of good employees to continue to layoff to ensure that they are. Unfortunately, that’s who will suffer as a result of increased regulations.

  • jordan reichek

    that’s downright criminal.

  • DavidD

    The first mistake is going to one of these for profit trade schools. Do your homework before you pick a school. Some schools like USC and CalArts will cost a lot of money, but at least your alumni base is huge and will open doors. Plus the location is key. An art school far away from industry should not charge a lot for tuition. Education is important and your classmates along with faculty, curriculum are the keys to success. If just obtaining knowledge is your goal, sure buy a bunch of books (electronic or print) and go online for guidance, but attending an institution with fellow peers is something you can’t put a price on…but only if the school attracts the best students. These “trade” schools costs way too much and the degrees don’t hold much weight.

  • Ian R. Hamilton

    I went to the AI in Santa Monica and though it cost an arm and a leg i consider it the best decisions i ever made. I’ve been working steadily as a board artist for 5 years and make a great living doing so and i have the connections and the staff form AI to thank. Its a for profit school so everything they do is for profit, get over it. Theres not a book digital or print that will decide your career in animation its the time you spend focusing your skills and creating. to any students at AI who are reading this don’t gripe and moan about stupid stuff you can’t control like this E reader thing and don’t surround yourself with the kids who just complain because that will sink you. AI gives a chance to every would be artist to get as much as they want out of staff and school resources but only if you go through the school wanting it. Shout out to Mike Libonati.

    • Ekactor

      Kiss for-profit ass much? I fail to see how everything done for profit just for the sake of profit rather than ever giving a hoot about the
      quality or necessity of the books that students (many of whom already struggle financially) are forced to purchase makes good sense. Yours is a typical response from someone who clearly supports greedy, unethical institutions.

  • Former Student

    I was student at Ai. I left just as they were making eBooks mandatory. The worst part of it was that the eBooks cost the same or more than the actual paper books, and access to those eBooks would eventually expire after 6 months. That might sound unethical, but that was actually the least of the reasons I decided to leave Ai. The list is a long one…

  • http://chrissokalofsky.com Chris Sokalofsky

    I’m an animation instructor at Ai Vancouver, and I’ll be honest, I’ve never run into this problem with any of my syllabi. But maybe that’s because I simply write in that there are NO required texts, only recommended ones.

    Oh, to be sure, I tell them they need a copy of RW if they want to last through the intro course, and they’re only going to get better by reading my other recommended books (including, coincidentally, Acting for Animators), but perhaps its different on Canada campuses? Or have I accidentally found the rather obvious loophole?

  • http://www.youtube.com/MrCromartie1989 AC

    As a former student who withdrew after two years-I can proudly say this is the ONLY logo that literally makes me cringe every time I see it.

    In the meantime, I’ve learned a hell of a lot more about 2-d animation on my own (for free) then I ever did in those expensive, wasted two years (of an embarrassingly bad, unsupported 2-d program).

  • http://rauchbrothers.com Mike Rauch

    Complete, unjustified nonsense. Corporate greed has no place in schools (although it invades all too often). Prospective students ought to stay away from a school so clearly focused on profits over education. Teachers too.

    What a damn shame.

  • noodlybits

    Your school is only as good as the quality of the instructors and courses. It is not true that Cal Arts graduates are the only ones hired.
    The advertising for the school is often in inverse proportion to the quality of the education. It’s better to check out the work of the school’s graduates and see (a) if it is better than what you can get at home and (b) whether the graduate is actually working in the industry.
    An education does not merely consist of learning animation exercises–you also learn how to work with others. Some programs have group projects that prepare their students for work in studios. You do not have the same personal interaction with professors and with other students if you are learning at home. Therefore, I believe that a college education and degree is well worth it if you go to the right school.

  • http://rauchbrothers.com Mike Rauch

    I called a couple of their locations because I found this so troubling. Apparently every location has different policies. From what I understand, their New York location doesn’t follow this policy at all (I spoke to the Dean there and he said he was surprised to hear about the policy at other locations).

    I also talked to somebody at the book suppository in Philadelphia, who told me that the students have 6 months to download the book, but then should have access to it from the downloaded file as long as they want. He did however, confirm that the students are required to pay the digital resource fee and are “encouraged” to use the e-book since they’ve paid for it, but can use printed books in class as well. Yeah, I would want to try and make use of something I paid for too. Hopefully, it’s actually useful though. It all still sounds like racketeering, but a little less egregious.

    I’m still curious to talk with somebody at the Orange County location and learn more about that school.

  • 5_5

    Glad I change my mind about going to this school back in spring.

  • Eric P

    For those who dislike the eBooks expiring in 5 years there is always another option ( http://stream-recorder.com/forum/simplest-option-removing-drm-calibre-plugins-t8349.html ), not that I am either suggesting or condoning it. However you DID pay for the eBook so shouldn’t you get to keep it for reference? Or at least have a choice in the matter?

  • Anamator

    I currently attend the Ai Seattle. We aren’t on the best of terms with the E-book either. In fact, if we take a class that has the same e-book as another, we are ultimately forced to pay for it a second time…not what I would call kosher but it’s what I have to do.

    If my instructors don’t feel I need the book and I really don’t then I wont use it. IF I NEED THAT BOOK THOUGH, I have to find a pdf of it and set up to be read to me. I’m an Audio based learner, if I cant hear it I wont remember it.

    I work my butt off 6 days a week between a full time job and a full time class load. My tuition is on a fixed payment plan. I pay good money to be there. And honestly i’m getting a good education and I love most of my instructors minus one particular pain in the butt. All I’m really asking for, even if the book is an e-book is: 1) MAKE THOSE THINGS LEGIBLE BECAUSE FOR THE LIFE OF US WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND THAT GOD AWFUL FORMAT, and 2)PLEASE PROVIDE AN AUDIO FILE FOR THOSE OF US WHO HAVE LEARNING DISABILITIES OR A PARTICULAR TYPE OF LEARNING PROBLEM!!!

    E-books wouldn’t be a bad idea so long as we didn’t have to pay for the same book twice, they were not horribly cut and pasted, and they catered to other learning styles.