Students at University of the Sciences will no longer head to the campus bookstore to purchase their textbooks. Instead, they will be greeted by made-to-order food monitors and grocery aisles as they enter the updated space on Woodland Avenue
That’s because the University shifted its campus bookstore to an online system via Blackboard
on June 2; a move administrators believe will streamline and enhance the college experience for all students. In return, the bookstore space will be transformed into a convenience store that will offer a variety of hot and cold food selections, including Jamba Juice and F'Real milkshakes and smoothies.
“The students spoke, and we listened. They want access to affordable textbooks and more on-campus dining options,” said Brigid Isackman
, controller and assistant vice president for finance at USciences. “Luckily, changing to an online bookstore enables us to fulfill both of these requests at once.”
For the past several years, Blackboard has provided the University community with a set of tools that allows faculty and students to perform electronic tasks, such as submitting assignments, taking exams, and viewing grades over the Internet. This service will now also provide a process that enables students to purchase new, used, rental, and digital materials based off the courses listed on their Blackboard accounts. Aside from serving as a “one-stop-shop” for students, the Blackboard Store at USciences will also offer more competitive prices, fast shipping, around-the-clock customer service, and guaranteed buy-back prices. This online store was activated on Monday, July 28 to give students the opportunity to purchase their textbooks before the start of the semester on Aug. 25.
The convenience store will operate much like popular chains, and students will be able to use their Devils Dollars and meal plans
at this location. The store will sell hot and cold food items, including macaroni and cheese, hoagies, and salads; as well as fresh produce, beverages, deli sandwiches, and other grocery and toiletry items. The Woodland Avenue study lounge located above Starbucks will also be updated to coordinate with the café-style theme of the new store, and will include a monitor for students to know when their orders are ready.
Although the new store will continue to sell University memorabilia, Isackman said a larger selection of clothing and other items will be available for purchase through the online bookstore.
“Students will now have the opportunity to customize their USciences clothing by choosing their own styles and colors,” said Isackman. “We’ll still have items available for purchase on campus, but we’re really looking forward to seeing all the different options that will be available online to our students, alumni, and friends of the University.”
These new changes on campus are currently underway, and the convenience store will open to the community in the fall. Once students return for the 2014-15 school year, they will have the opportunity to submit their ideas for the naming of the store, and the winner will be announced at a grand opening event in September.
"We are excited by the variety of opportunities that will be afforded to our students and faculty through Blackboard's online bookstore, and we look forward to seeing these positive changes benefit our entire campus,” said Isackman.