We are pleased to announce that last year the Libraries Textbook Affordability Program celebrated a major milestone when it reached $1,085,000* in GFU student savings!
In response to the rapidly increasing price of textbooks, the George Fox University Libraries established the Textbook Affordability Program to reduce cost and to help students in their academic success.
The program started in 2016 as an Open Textbook Initiative, funded by a George Fox Innovation Grant from the Office of the President. We joined the Open Textbook Network (OTN), an alliance of higher education institutions committed to improving access, affordability, and academic success through the use of open textbooks. The grant provided incentives for faculty to review and adopt open textbooks from the Open Textbook Library (OTL), replacing expensive textbooks. Funding was also made available for faculty who wanted to author an open textbook. The Libraries has published three George Fox faculty-authored open textbooks so far through Pennington ePress in the library’s Digital Commons, and a fourth is in process. These are also included in the OTL, where faculty from around the world can review and adopt them for their own courses.
Our 2019 conference presentation, Engaged Faculty, Student Success, and $1 Million in Savings documents specifics of the strategy we used to surpass one million dollars in student savings.
Last year, George Fox faculty reviewed ten more open textbooks, bringing our total reviews to nearly 40. See them listed, along with the open textbooks our faculty have adopted, on our Faculty Champions page.
Just this month, Anna Berardi (Graduate School of Counseling) and Brenda Morton (School of Education) published their open textbook, the third to appear in Pennington ePress: Trauma-Informed School Practices: Building Expertise to Transform Schools.
Previous successes of the program are mentioned in these blog posts:
- The George Fox University Open Textbook Initiative
- Textbook Affordability Program Saves Students $315,000
- Textbook Affordability Program Saves Students nearly $800,000
Due to the high return on investment, the Textbook Affordability Program was permanently funded in 2018 and is no longer a grant-funded endeavor.
For the 2019-20 academic year, the Textbook Affordability Program is focusing on helping departments achieve their textbook affordability goals. For example, the Department of Professional Studies is working to meet a goal of “Under $20 by 2020” for their Adult Degree Programs, as described by Department Chair Jennie Harrop in this video. This is great news for student success, affordability, and academic engagement at George Fox.
To learn more about the Textbook Affordability Program, contact the program manager Robin Ashford, digital learning librarian, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Savings estimates based on enrolled students purchasing new books at full price.