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University of South Dakota Partners with Akademos for Hybrid Bookstore Model

New USD online bookstore meets the convenience and affordability needs of students while retail store supports student life

Student expectations are becoming increasingly challenging for administrators. When 1 in 3 freshmen do not return for their sophomore year, there is significant pressure to find strategies to successfully retain students. From the admissions process through graduation day, many institutions are looking for unique ways to serve the changing needs of their campus communities.

One of the ways institutions are working to support today’s student is through cost-saving initiatives that offer a greater value to the campus. The University of South Dakota has taken action to enrich the academic experience of its students on campus and address the rising costs of education by implementing a hybrid bookstore solution. This hybrid solution leverages an online platform to handle course material adoption, purchasing, and fulfillment and transforms the traditional bookstore space on campus to a next generation campus store that offers merchandise, technology, and other value-added services.

University of South Dakota Bookstore

Akademos supports innovation and student affordability initiatives through the online University of South Dakota bookstore

Akademos To Provide Course Materials Platform Software for Online Bookstore

We are thrilled to announce that the University of South Dakota is partnering with Akademos to provide an online bookstore service that will significantly decrease the cost of course materials for USD students while providing the online ordering experience they desire. The Akademos platform provides students with a wide selection of course material format options including new, used, eBook, and rental at significant savings in addition to 24x7x365 accessibility and free shipping for all retail orders of new and used books over $49. Students can access these materials through the university-branded course materials website that conveniently integrates with the university’s SIS, LMS, and Financial Aid systems - making the bookstore a seamless extension of the USD student experience.

The online bookstore will support USD administration and faculty, who will benefit from a comprehensive Adoption & Analytics Portal. This platform offers a step-by-step guide for course material adoptions, including a proprietary CoursePack creation tool for low-cost custom materials, and the ability to compare real-time prices for existing course materials. The analytics tool will also enable leadership to track critical data, including student purchasing and bookstore utilization.

“We fully support the University of South Dakota in taking this innovative step to increase access and improve affordability while continuing to serve the on-campus needs of their students. USD joins a growing number of universities who recognize the need to modernize their course materials platform,” said Raj Kaji, CEO, Akademos. “We’re delighted that after a thorough and competitive process, USD has selected Akademos to support their mission and provide a course materials platform that will foster the success of administration, faculty, and students.”

New Retail Shop to Take Over Physical Bookstore Space

The former bookstore space on campus will be transitioned into a second location of the very successful Charlie’s Fan Shop - operated by the university’s marketing department and supporting students for both textbooks and retail purchases. A portion of the proceeds from both retail locations are donated back to USD for student scholarships.

“Our goal is to not just serve today’s students, but tomorrow’s as well,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. “We wanted a bookstore that would adapt to the changing marketplace, provide the most affordable options and ensure our students had the best experience possible. We found that with Akademos. We are confident the move to an online bookstore will foster the success of both students and faculty.”

By providing a hybrid bookstore solution to students, USD can now focus on retaining and successfully educating its students, preparing them for the future and to be productive members of society.

Find out more about the USD and Akademos partnership in the full press release.

To learn more about how Akademos can help guide your institution towards the best option for its bookstore, contact us for more information.