Middle Georgia State Receives Grants To Reduce Textbook Costs

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Thursday, October 2, 2014 12:54 PM
Categories: Faculty/Staff | School of Education and Behavioral Sciences | College of Arts and Sciences | Pressroom | School of Education

Macon, GA

The bane of college students everywhere is how much textbooks cost.

Come spring, Middle Georgia State College students who take introductory courses in education and political science with certain faculty members won't have to worry about buying books for those particular classes.

Affordable Learning Georgia, an initiative of the University System of Georgia to promote student success by providing affordable textbook alternatives, awarded grants to Middle Georgia State to do just that for those courses. The grants, totaling about $21,000, will allow four faculty members - Molly Kimsey and Loleta Sartin in the School of Education and Dr. Julie Lester and Dr. Christopher Lawrence in the Department of History and Political Science - to attend training provided by Affordable Learning Georgia, modify their curriculum and research and locate open-content textbooks and other free resources to use instead of traditional texts that must be purchased.

Their adapted courses will be made available as models to other University System institutions that want to use them.

For students, the savings will be significant. Over the course of a year, an estimated 630 Middle Georgia State students will take "Critical and Contemporary Issues in Education," a class that traditionally uses a $196 required text. That's $123,480 in total savings to students.

An estimated 420 students will take "American Government," which traditionally requires an $89 textbook. That's $37,380 in total savings.

Affordable Learning Georgia received nearly 50 proposals from 18 University System of Georgia institutions. Thirty proposals, including those submitted by the Middle Georgia State, received grant funding.

"Textbook costs can actually impact a student's decision whether to continue pursuing a degree," said Dr. Martha Venn, Middle Georgia State's provost. "Our four faculty members who were awarded these grants are not just taking steps to lower costs for students, they are helping retain and move them toward graduation. We have other faculty members planning to submit proposals for the next round of funding, so this is only the beginning of our efforts to lower textbook costs."

Besides reducing textbook costs, Affordable Learning Georgia is enhancing GALILEO, Georgia’s Virtual Library. The Affordable Learning Georgia Textbook Transformation Grants are intended to pilot different approaches in USG courses for textbook transformation including adoption, adaptation, and creation of Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or identification and adoption of materials already available in GALILEO and USG libraries.