Textbooks :: Northern Virginia Community College

Welcome to the Northern Virginia Community College Website

Accessibility Navigation:



Policy Number: 213

Categorized: Academic Policies

Responsible Office: Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer

Subject: Selection and purchasing of textbooks

Related Policies: Open Educational Resources


Additional Information:

Effective Date:

Last Reviewed Date: 09/10/2018

1.0 Scope

This policy applies to textbooks for all credit courses.

2.0 Policy Statement

In accordance with the Code of Virginia (Sec. 23-4.3:1), it is the policy of Northern Virginia Community College to encourage efforts to minimize the cost of textbooks for students while maintaining the quality of education and academic freedom.

When several different sections of the same course, whether sequential or non-sequential, are offered on one campus, the same basic textbook(s) will be used in all sections, unless the section uses all Open Educational Resources. The textbooks selected must be agreed upon by the faculty concerned and approved by the appropriate pathways dean. In cases in which the faculty members find the decision of the pathways dean unacceptable, the matter shall be brought before the pathways provost of that campus for resolution.

Textbooks, once adopted, shall be used for a minimum of two years. More frequent changes will be approved by the provost in unusual circumstances. NOVA encourages College discipline groups to adopt a single textbook for use in a course College-wide.

No employee shall demand or receive any payment, loan, subscription, advance, deposit of money, services, or anything, present or promised, as an inducement for requiring students to purchase a specific textbook required for coursework or instruction. However, such employee may receive (i) sample copies, instructor's copies, or instructional material not to be sold and (ii) royalties or other compensation from sales of textbooks that include such instructor's own writing or work.

3.0 Definitions


4.0 Procedures

4.1. Each division dean or designee is responsible for ordering the textbooks and materials for each course and for adhering to reasonable standards of cost. The division dean/designee will submit orders for textbooks and materials directly to the appropriate campus bookstore. Copies of textbook orders sent to the bookstore should be maintained in the division office, the Workforce Division, or NOVA Online for two years or according to the state records retention policy.

4.2. Desk copies of textbooks for faculty members will be ordered directly from the publisher by each division dean. If a publisher does not provide desk copies of textbooks, the division dean should place an order for the number of textbook copies required for the faculty in that division. These books will then be issued to the division for use by the faculty member. The cost of these textbooks shall be charged to the appropriate division.

4.3. Faculty members shall notify and receive approval in writing from their division dean before requiring students to purchase books or instructional materials in which the faculty member holds property rights.

4.4. Instructional materials produced by a faculty member either directly or through College Print Services, “vanity press” or similar, must be made available to students at cost.

5.0 Authority

Code of Virginia 23.1-1308. Governing board procedures; textbook sales and bookstores.