Traditional textbook prices have risen exponentially over the years, and this cost is a recognized national problem in higher education that contributes to declining student success and retention. According to the 2020 NEIU Climate Study, our own students indicated that after tuition, the cost of course materials was their next biggest financial concern, above housing, food, and healthcare.
The Affordable Course Materials Committee in the Office of Academic Affairs was formed in Fall 2021 to promote low and no-cost course materials on our campus.
The purpose of this committee is to determine the current status of the use of affordable course materials at Northeastern with the goal of increasing their use across campus, which research indicates can improve student outcomes. In Spring 2020, the Library provided a workshop for faculty who were interested in adopting affordable course materials. Faculty who attended the workshop and adopted free course materials saved Northeastern students $33,000 in one year! The committee is excited to develop a University-wide program to enhance student access to education at Northeastern through the use of affordable course materials. This includes open education resources (OER), which are educational materials that are free for faculty and students to use, customize and share.
To successfully promote this initiative, we welcome comments and suggestions from the Northeastern community. Please feel free to share any ideas with the committee chairs or members.
Members of the 2022-2023 Affordable Course Materials Committee:
Lisa Wallis, Library
Please check out this video to hear directly from four NEIU students who share their experiences with cost challenges when purchasing required textbooks for their classes.