When we think about the high cost of college, tuition is the first thing that comes to mind. But there’s a “not-so-hidden” cost that often gets a pass because it’s been rooted in college tradition. For years, this cost has been a burden to students, but we haven’t identified ways to cut it because it’s “the way things have always been.” I’m speaking of the cost of textbooks.
On April 12, Governor Andrew Cuomo got it right when he signed legislation that not only provides free tuition but also includes an $8 million investment in open educational resources — known as OER — at the CUNY and SUNY systems. OER are freely available, high-quality materials that can be downloaded, edited, and shared — and in my experience are a cost-saver for students that have also helped to improve performance and course completion.
As an open education librarian at CUNY, I’ve seen firsthand how OER are an important part of the solution for addressing the skyrocketing costs of higher education. Read More