American Public University System (APUS) today announced APUS ePress, a new digital publishing initiative designed to leverage public and proprietary course materials, while reducing textbook costs.
APUS ePress comprises the most recent element in APUS's innovative response to textbook cost inflation. As part of a phased transition to fully electronic materials, APUS is partnering with select textbook publishers, while also exploring open access avenues. In addition, APUS subject-specialist librarians are collaborating with faculty to leverage online library assets for direct classroom support.
"While we were pioneers with an innovative grant to underwrite course material costs for our undergraduate students, the skyrocketing expense of printed textbooks remains," said APUS Dean of Libraries Dr. Fred Stielow. "We have taken that initiative a step further by now re-engineering the university press. Our goal is to create a new breed of course-specific digital publications with print-on-demand options."
APUS ePress currently focuses on the University's niche programs -- including homeland security, intelligence, and transportation. These programs feature strong instructors and are developing areas where the available course literature is weak. The press commissions such professors as authors and editors, assisted by librarian specialists. Since these offerings are intended purely for internal use, they can be specifically tailored to the specific online resource needs of students.
"Higher education has reached a tipping point in the evolution of course materials, especially for online education," said Stielow. "We believe pacesetting approaches as APUS ePress blend the best of the traditional academic press with new digital avenues, helping redefine higher education in the Information Age."
New Military History and Intelligence Collection
In related news, APUS also announced a newly-expanded collection of specialized holdings on intelligence, military history, and military studies, which complements its multi-year runs of more than 35,000 scholarly journals and over 120,000 electronic books. The collection includes donations of the library of the Association of the US Army, the late professor Andrew Baggs and Lt. Gen. Richard Trefry (USA, Ret.), housed in APUS' new environmentally-efficient Academic Center in Charles Town, WV.