Affordable Learning Solutions
The Affordable Learning Solutions (ALS) program aims to cultivate and encourage faculty ambassadors to adopt low-cost and/or free quality texts and instructional materials from repositories such as MERLOT, Open Educational Resources Commons (OER), and the Library. Unlike the AB798 program, the ALS program grants opportunities for faculty to author course materials.
Affordable Learning Initiatives
SSU is participating in the CSU-wide College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015 (AB 798) program to help faculty adopt high quality, free, accessible, and open educational resources for courses materials. Our goal is to reduce textbook costs for students by 30 percent per class section. Training and incentives are available for faculty.
SSU Textbook Affordability Fact Sheet & How Faculty Can Help Students
Over 1,100 students, in a recent campus-wide survey on textbook affordability, said how high costs affect them.
Three ways SSU faculty can help students (review fact sheet for details):
Complete the SSU Affordable Learning Faculty & Departmental Grant form to facilitate individual faculty or department-level Open Educational Resource (OER) adoptions.
Explore and adopt open/free educational resources vetted by faculty from various fields on California Open Online Library for Education (Cool4ed.org).
Be sure to list all instructional materials early (including OERs) with the campus bookstore.
Faculty Workshops and Department Programs
Training and incentives for departments and individual faculty are available. Please contact the Center for Teaching and Educational Technology by phone at 707-664-2659 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to participate.
Sonoma State Affordable Learning Faculty & Departmental Grants
Three types of grants are available including, individual faculty awards of up to $1,000, and departmental awards of up to $3,000. Customized workshops and training offered to facilitate the adoption of OER materials. Complete the Sonoma State Affordable Learning Grant Application Form to apply for one of the following grants types:
- Creation of Original Open Educational Resources
- Funding dependent on the project description and funds availability, minimum award $1,000
- Individual Faculty Adoption of Existing Open Educational Resources
- Requirements: Must notify campus bookstore of intent to offer OER, Affordable Learning Committee must verify adoption with indicated courses, notification deadlines must be met (
Spring 2020: November 15, 2019; Summer 2020: May 15, 2020; Fall 2020: June 30, 2020). The minimum award is $500 for OER adoption, $250 to attend an OER informational event and $250 for helping to raise awareness for an OER related purpose (see questions below for details). One course per faculty, but multiple sections of that course are ok. The requirement is a 30% savings of textbook costs for students compared to the material used in the previous course
- Departmental Adoption of Open Educational Resources: (~6 departmental awards available)
- Requirements: Department representative must submit a project plan in writing through this form including course(s) to be included, resources to be selected, and any related description of the use of the grant funds for instructional support purposes. Affected course sections must serve at least 100 students. Applications are considered as they are received, but may need to be prioritized based on the number of applications submitted. The requirement is a 30% savings of textbook costs for students compared to the material used in the previous course.