The Pocket Protector Award

This award honors Minnesota State Colleges and Universities’ faculty members who have taken up the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in their classroom. In Minnesota and nationwide OER usage has saved students millions of dollars in would-be textbook spend. The Pocket Protector Award aims to recognize faculty members’ forward thinking utilization of OERs and for shielding students from the high price of costly traditional textbooks. 

The outrageous price that college students have to pay for textbooks has been a burden for decades, but never before has the cost of textbooks been as painfully high as it is today. It is a growing concern that there are an ever-increasing number of students that have to go without their required course text because they can simply no longer afford it. The higher education community must take bold new steps to combat this issue and LeadMN is committed to driving that effort.

OERs Around the Country

University of Massachusetts Amherst

This University launched the Open Education Initiative in 2011, a competitive grant that incentives faculty to make the switch to OER’s. This program has saved students more than $1.5 million. 

Tidewater Community College in Virginia

This college partnered with Lumen Learning to launch a textbook-free degree in Business Administration. 98% of students said the classes were of equal or better quality than traditional courses. 

Tacoma Community College

This college, located in Washington State, hired a full-time staff person to serve as a resource to faculty developing and implementing open textbooks. The program has saved students more than $635,000 is the first two years.  

Dalton State University

This university, located in Georgia, recently received Affordable Learning Georgia grants to launch open textbooks. Student savings are expected to be over $1 million in the first three years.  

University of Maryland System

The Maryland Open-Source Textbook (MOST) initiative started in 2013 as a work plan to develop faculty and assess the feasibility of open textbooks, and since then is estimated to have saved students over $1 million.  

Questions?

If you need any support please contact Policy Manager Marco Lanz at mlanz@leadmn.org