A small Catholic high school outside of Houston in Katy, Texas, Saint John XXIII College Preparatory knows a thing or two about growing quickly. Founded in 2004, they’ve since expanded into a well-respected college prep educating nearly 400 students between grades 9 and 12. The latest event in that growth is St. John’s decision to take their bookstore online with MBS Direct.
The impetus behind that decision was the ability for the school to offer its students more options than they have had in the past. In previous years, St. John had done all of their textbook operations internally, and only offered to rent those books to their students each term. Then, in 2012, they partnered with an online vendor for the first time before making a switch to MBS Direct this year, who Academic Dean Christopher Stuck believes will be able to provide his students with the kinds of options they are looking for.
Not only will the switch to an online bookstore help students, but it will improve things for the school as well. “We just don’t have the space for inventory or storage,” Stuck said, speaking about part of why St. John made the decision to transition online. “Online really helps solves those problems logistically.”
While the new online bookstore will have students purchasing their materials on the web, St. John is hosting an EZ Drop buyback on campus each term, where the school works with MBS Direct to set up a book collection at no cost to the school. Their first EZ Drop buyback just occurred a few weeks ago, and went extremely well according to Stuck.
St. John is also looking to integrate more digital textbooks into their curriculum. The school is currently a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) optional institution, and with their new online bookstore, the staff is hopeful that easier access to digital materials will encourage more students to use digital devices.
What their decision to choose MBS Direct ultimately came down to, though, was the service St. John’s students would be able to receive from their new textbook vendor. “What we really liked about MBS Direct were the choices students have and the top notch customer service,” Stuck said. “There’s more [options] and ultimately what we’re concerned with is giving families as many choices as possible.”