Faculty: Apply for new affordable course grants by April 16

January 16, 2018

VCU Libraries, the Office of the Provost, the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence and the ALT Lab invite applications for the second round of the Affordable Course Content Awards, a program that helps faculty who want to adopt or author free or lower-cost alternatives to expensive textbooks. Academic Technologies, Online @ VCU, Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity, and the VCU Bookstore have also committed to serve as resources for award recipients.

Faculty members are invited to apply for awards in two categories:

  • Adopt Awards: Redesign your course to incorporate existing low-cost or free educational resources. $1000 per person, with a project cap of $3,000 per course (special consideration may be given to larger departmental projects).
  • Author Awards: Create a substantially new openly licensed textbook or course content when it is possible to demonstrate that quality resources are not currently available to meet learning objectives. $2,000 per person with a project cap of $6,000 per course.

The application period is now open, and applications are due by April 16, 2018. Project timelines may vary but must be completed by June 1, 2019, with implementation expected by fall 2019. 

A series of informational workshops about the program will be held for faculty throughout February. They are scheduled for:

  • Feb. 16 at noon at Cabell Library, room 250;
  • Feb. 19 at noon at Tompkins-McCaw Library, lecture room 2-010; and
  • Feb. 27 at noon at Cabell Library, room 250.

“We’re excited to offer a second round of awards for faculty looking to reduce the textbook cost burden for students. Textbook prices have been steadily increasing for years. For many students, these costs negatively impact academic success,” said Hillary Miller, scholarly communications outreach librarian at VCU Libraries. 

A 2016 survey of more than 20,000 college students in Florida found that textbook prices led to 67 percent not purchasing a required textbook, 26 percent dropping a class and 20 percent failing a course.

Visit the affordable course content awards page to learn more and apply.

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