Ben Muckenthaler, a BFA Musical Theatre major, tests out an assistive reading device in the Young Library. The device was acquired through a Muhlethaler Foundation grant.
The Western Connecticut State University library was awarded a $6,000 grant by the Jane T. Muhlethaler Foundation Inc., a private independent foundation in Fairfield County, with which to purchase textbooks for core business classes, as well as magnification devices to enable visually impaired students to better access material.
The main goal of the project is to alleviate the financial burden associated with the high cost of textbooks, making required materials accessible to all. The average business textbook is now $180, and professors often require more than one textbook per class. One-third of WCSU’s student body is enrolled in the recently accredited Ancell School of Business.
Approximately 37% percent of WCSU students are from historically underrepresented minority populations, 30% are low-income, and 32% are the first generation in their families to go to college. Approximately 350 students have documented disabilities.
WCSU’s mission is to change lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Its two libraries, the Haas Library on the Midtown campus and Robert S. Young Library on the Westside campus, are key to fulfilling the university’s mission as dynamic learning centers that foster the discovery, creation and reinterpretation of knowledge.
The Muhlethaler Foundation grant plus $2,300 matching WCSU library funds have been used to purchase reading enhancement devices, and textbooks for Marketing, Management, Finance, Accounting, MIS, and Justice and Law Administration. The material is available for in-library use at the Young Library on the Westside campus.