Scrolling Headlines:

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Letter to the Editor: Open Education Initiative could save students money

Christina Yacono/Collegian

Christina Yacono/Collegian

To the UMass Amherst Community,

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau, the price of textbooks has risen 1041 percent since 1977. As a result, according to a 2014 U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) study, 65 percent of students have reported that they have forgone buying a textbook because of its cost. So it should come as no surprise that another 14 percent of students have dropped a class because they feel unprepared due to a lack of affordable textbooks.

Though, students are able to save up to 20 percent on the cost of textbooks by opening educational resources.

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are openly licensed, low cost or free teaching materials. OERs that are available include: syllabi, videos, podcasts, lecture notes, course outlines, textbooks and more. The W. E. B. Du Bois Library at The University of Massachusetts has been actively promoting OER to the faculty since 2011 through their Open Education Initiative. The library has saved students upward of $1.3 million, although more can be done to increase savings.

Currently, the library gives small incentive grants to faculty who wish to participate in the initiative.  The grants are meant to compensate faculty for the time it takes to adopt, adapt or create their own educational materials.

This program only works if there is a noticeable demand for it. Our purpose in writing this letter is to make more faculty and students aware of this great program.

Faculty, we want you to consider using OER for your classes if possible. You will be saving your students a considerable amount of money and removing a significant barrier to academic success.

Students, reach out to your professors and teachers. Let them know about OERs and how the UMass Amherst libraries can support them. We must be invested in our education and take action to demand that the University supports the increased use of OERs, whenever possible.

It is no secret that the cost of a college education has risen over the past several decades. There appears to be no sign of change in that trend in the near future. This is why it is inherently important that colleges and universities find other ways to reduce costs outside of mandatory tuition and fees, and enlisting the usage of OERs are a tremendous means of doing so.

Secretary of University Policy Lucas Patenaude


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