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September 15, 2020

SVSU partners with OpenStax to develop affordable college textbook program

Dedicated to providing an affordable education and accessible resources, Saginaw Valley State University recently joined the OpenStax Institutional Partner Network, a group of more than 60 U.S. colleges and universities dedicated to expanding the use of open educational resources (OER) on campuses.
 
“Access to affordable textbooks is a major obstacle to academic success for many SVSU students and we are committed to decreasing barriers to student success,” said Deborah Huntley, SVSU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
 
“We are excited about partnership with OpenStax, which will help us expand OER usage through increased awareness and support for faculty adoption. The partnership’s goals address the issues of cost and equity by shifting to course materials that are free and accessible.”
 
Twelve colleges from across the country in the first-year program – including SVSU – will develop and execute high-impact OER advocacy and adoption programs on their campuses. Dedicated to expanding access to free and flexible materials for students and instructors, these schools were selected from a competitive group of applicants, say OpenStax organizers. In selecting new partner schools for the 2020-21 academic year, OpenStax gave special consideration to those institutions with high numbers of Pell grant-eligible students as well as minority-serving institutions.
 
“By reconsidering not only who gets admitted but also how to maintain program efficacy while increasing flexibility, we hope to ensure that the OpenStax Institutional Partner Network accelerates more paths to truly equitable educational materials,” said Daniel Williamson, managing director of OpenStax.
 
“Our goal is to put these resources in the hands of more people, not to narrow the scope of who gets access and exposure to them.”
 
OpenStax is part of Rice University and supported by philanthropic foundations, provides free college and Advanced Placement textbooks that are developed and peer-reviewed by educators. The initiative also provides low-cost, personalized courseware that helps students learn.
 
For more information regarding SVSU's partnership with OpenStax, please contact Tina Mullins, the university's research and open education resources librarian, at cemullin@svsu.edu. Those interested may also visit http://OpenStax.org.