PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Marking the one-year
anniversary of her Open Textbook Initiative designed to cut the cost
of textbooks for Rhode Island college and university students, Governor Gina M.
Raimondo today announced that the initiative has put more than $870,000 back in
hardworking students' pockets. The program supports the Governor's
ambitious goal to ensure that 70 percent of working-aged Rhode
Islanders hold at least an associate degree by 2025.
"We need to attack the problem of college affordability
from every angle," Raimondo said. "It's not just the cost of courses
or standardized tests that price students out of getting a degree; it's also
the cost of textbooks. That's why last year, I launched the Rhode Island Open
Textbook Initiative, challenging every college and university in the state to
save students money by switching to free, openly-licensed textbooks. And just
one year in, we're seeing results."
The Rhode Island Open Textbook Initiative supports faculty
in shifting from expensive, commercially licensed textbooks to free,
openly-licensed textbooks of the same or better quality. All eleven Rhode
Island public and private higher education institutions have committed to the
effort, joining a statewide steering committee and hosting sixteen on-campus
trainings across the state.
"The Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner is pleased
to support training for faculty to become familiar with open educational
resources," Postsecondary Education Commissioner Brenda Dann-Messier said.
"Many times they simply don't know about alternatives to traditional
course materials that can make postsecondary education more affordable."
To date, over forty Rhode Island professors have reported
adopting an open textbook since the initiative's inception, representing
thirty-four different subject areas ranging from biology to economics to
hospitality to psychology. At Rhode Island College, the Basic Principles in
Biology course switched to an openly-licensed text, saving over 400 students
almost $50,000 in total.
"Over the past year, we have seen the Open Textbook
program grow from just one course to 24 courses at Rhode Island College,"
said Frank D. Sánchez, Rhode Island College President. "The Open Textbook
initiative is an important strategy to keep the cost of college and
out-of-pocket expenses down. This year alone, we anticipate a savings of well
over $100,000 for RIC students. The program has been, and will continue to be,
a great resource for our students."
For more information, visit http://innovate.ri.gov/opentextbook.