Students and faculty in the College of Nursing and Health Science mostly support TAAP, but some members of the college expressed how TAAP does not meet all the unique needs of the nursing program.
In continuing this series and gauging opinions of TAAP, The Scribe tabled at University Hall on Oct. 12. Students said they found it convenient to not have to look for course materials, but there were concerns about the lack of coverage of testing packages for nursing students, which must be purchased separately from TAAP.
Debbie Pollard (she/her) – Chair of the department of nursing
As the chair, Pollard is working closely with the TAAP program to help it integrate better with the nursing program in future semesters. “The concept is great for students,” Pollard said, “particularly when you’ve got programs that have a lot of books and resources.”
The nursing program is unique in its course materials because there is a required standardized testing package that covers the cost of the licensing exam as well as course materials and review resources.
The fee for the standardized testing package is roughly $2,400 and is used over the course of three years. At this time, TAAP does not cover this package.
Pollard said TAAP won’t always make sense for nursing students because of this. “There’s going to be some semesters where they’re going to opt out of TAAP because the resources that they need are covered by their testing package,” Pollard said.
Pollard is working to get TAAP to cover the vendor that provides the standardized testing package, which would provide big cost savings for future nursing students. She said the people working for TAAP have been receptive when it comes to answering faculty questions.
Emma Alderman (she/her) – senior in nursing
Alderman made the decision to TAAP out because it didn’t make sense for her course load.
“I had a textbook that carried over into my final class, and so I already had access and a code to it. And then also, I just felt like there wasn’t a whole lot of information other than the email that was just sent, so I didn’t really know what it was,” Alderman said.
Alderman said that she’s taken three classes that all have used the same textbook, which originally cost around $300. If TAAP had existed when she took the first class that required that textbook, Alderman said she definitely would have TAAPed in.
Alderman also expressed concerns for how TAAP would integrate with the standardized testing package she had already paid for. She said students have to buy a program called Lippincott Course Point, which is used to access homework and course materials in nursing. She was uncertain about how TAAP affected that program.
“There was a lot of confusion within nursing because people didn’t understand why [they] would have to rebuy something if [they] bought this whole course,” Alderman said.
If TAAP covered Course Point, Alderman said it would be worth TAAPing in.
Alderman said that despite her initial confusion, she would be in favor of seeing TAAP continue in the future. She may even decide to TAAP in for the spring semester if it makes sense for her.
Leyah Martinez (she/her) – sophomore in exercise science
Martinez TAAPed in and said TAAP has made it easier to find her books than in previous semesters.
Martinez said the process is more efficient and friendly. “Last year was just a little more stressful … It was more complicated than it should of [been],” she said.
The communication from TAAP has been respectful, professional, effective and quick for Martinez.
Martinez had an issue with one of her scholarships that prevented her from paying for her TAAP fee by the due date. She reached out to TAAP, they responded right away and extended her deadline until she was able to pay the fee.
Martinez said she would be in favor of seeing TAAP continue for future semesters.
Faith Balstad (she/her) – sophomore in nursing
Balstad said she TAAPed in for this semester because of the convenience of the program. She liked that her books were purchased for her.
TAAP greatly affected Balstad’s semester. In the past, Balstad just didn’t buy books because she did not like having to go to the bookstore and purchase them, but she didn’t have to with TAAP.
“It just made me feel more at ease, I guess, when going in to go get my books because I knew that they should all be there, or that it was kind of taken care [of],” Balstad said.
Along with her books, Balstad also had a nursing kit covered by TAAP, which includes a stethoscope, pressure cuff and flashlight.
The communication from TAAP was good for Balstad. She thought it was nice that TAAP gave students the option to TAAP out if it didn’t benefit them.
Balstad did express concerns about being automatically TAAPed in. “I feel like there are some people who don’t read their emails and so don’t know until it’s too late,” she said.
Balstad feels it may be better to give students the option to opt in, rather than opting them in by default because of this.
Balstad said she would be in favor of seeing TAAP continue in future semesters.
This article and the ones before and after it are part of a series on the different perspectives of TAAP. Click here for the previous article.
Kristan Haywood (she/her), sophomore biochemistry major, offers her opinions on the TAAP program. Photo by Meghan Germain.