Seven faculty members have redesigned their courses to remove the need for textbook purchases while ensuring the integrity of the coursework was maintained.
The faculty members were supported by the Affordable Course Content Faculty Fellowship funded through a Chancellor’s Grant.
Each faculty member received support from a team of librarians and instructional designers as they adopted free course materials, revised their programs, and made adjustments to their teaching methods.
Nearly three-quarters of students at Abington receive financial aid, so the textbook costs of $1,840 per academic year was an added burden.
Christina Riehman-Murphy, reference and instruction librarian at Abington, believes this is a good way to ensure everybody can succeed in college, no matter their financial situation.
“It makes the classroom an uneven playing field when some can’t pay for the materials,” she said. “This is highly relevant to our students. If they need the LionShare food pantry, then it follows that they need affordable course content.”
Read more about the Penn State Abington initiative at the Penn State News by clicking here.