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The University of Hartford Partners with OpenStax to Promote the Use of Free and Low-Cost Textbooks

Posted 06/19/2017
Posted by Mary Ingarra

The University of Hartford is one of 11 schools chosen nationwide by OpenStax to participate in its 2017–18 Institutional Partnership Program, which encourages the use of free, peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks on college campuses. The University entered into a strategic partnership with OpenStax after a rigorous application process that included the University demonstrating a willingness to drive the adoption of open educational resources (OER), which are resources available at little or no cost for learning, teaching, and research.

As an OpenStax Institutional partner, the University will receive individualized consulting from OpenStax and will join a cohort of colleges and universities that advocate the widespread use of OER at their schools. Last year’s institutional partner schools experienced a 55 percent increase in the amount of students using OER, with a $1.7 million total savings in the coming academic year.

“We are excited about this partnership,” said University of Hartford’s Interim Provost H. Frederick Sweitzer. “Open educational resources are an important part of our overall strategy to maximize student success by creating access to quality educational materials, as well as giving instructors increased flexibility to design learning environments suited to the needs of all students.”  

Through its commitment to student success, the University is working to reduce the high cost of textbooks, while still presenting high-quality content and protecting academic freedom. Traditional textbooks cost an average of between $600 and $1,400 per student each year, according to studies by NACS and the College Board—which not only impacts a student’s ability to attend college, but also their ability to continue and complete coursework.

The OpenStax books are comparable to textbooks that cost $200 or more, and are available at no cost online and in PDF form, and at a very low cost in print.