JONESBORO – Arkansas State University today announces it is one of nine schools chosen to participate in the 2018-2019 OpenStax Institutional Partnership Program to encourage use of free, peer-reviewed textbooks on campus.
A-State was chosen to participate in this strategic partnership with OpenStax after a rigorous application process that included demonstrating willingness to drive adoption of open educational resources (OER).
"I used an free, open, and online textbook in my Introduction to Sociology class this past semester, just as I have done for last five years," commented Dr. Kelly Damphousse, chancellor. "My students have the option of purchasing a very inexpensive version of the book or to download the book, for free, to their phone or other device. I believe that these kinds of textbooks increase the likelihood of student success in the classroom."
More than half of the students in his class, for example, reported that they had not bought at least one of their textbooks in the previous year because it was too expensive.
"In addition to keeping our tuition costs relatively low, initiatives like our OpenStax Institutional Partnership are among the many ways that Arkansas State University is renewing its commitment to reduce the cost of attending college," Damphousse emphasized. "I am very honored that A-State was among the nine universities chosen to participate in this national pilot program. I am excited to work with our colleagues at Rice University on this project."
Institutional partners will receive individualized consulting from OpenStax and join a cohort of schools advocating widespread use of OER at their schools. The 2016-2017 cohort of partner schools saw a 150 percent increase in student use of OER in the 2017-2018 academic year, saving an additional 50,000 students $4.9 million.
The cost of traditional textbooks — an average of somewhere between $600 and $1,400 per student each year, according to studies by the National Association of College Stores (NACS) and the College Board — not only impacts students’ ability to attend college but also their ability to continue and complete coursework.
Open educational resources, including the free, peer-reviewed textbooks offered by OpenStax, eliminate cost barriers for students and allow unrestricted, immediate access to learning materials, increasing the likelihood for students to complete their courses successfully, according to an OpenStax representative.
OpenStax is committed to improving access to quality learning materials. An initiative of Rice University and supported by philanthropic foundations, OpenStax provides free, high quality, peer-reviewed textbooks and affordable educational technology designed to improve learning outcomes. For more details, one may visit OpenStax.org.