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2019 OER Course Redesign Grant from SHSU's RFY (Reimagining the First Year)

Want to Help Reduce Textbook Costs for Our Students?

Textbooks cost our students more than $1300 per year on average, and according to the Government Accountability Office, textbook costs have increased 83% between 2002 and 2013: three times the rate of inflation! Because many of our students are financially disadvantaged, they often have not purchased textbooks before classes begin. This puts students behind from Day One, decreasing their chances of success.
If more faculty chose freely available course materials, students would have to pay less money to earn a degree, and might even perform better in their courses. A large-scale study at the University of Georgia found evidence that college students who are provided with free course materials at the beginning of a class get better academic results than those who are not.
The faculty, staff, and students working on Reimagining the First Year (RFY) on our campus would like to provide faculty with the means and resources to use more Open Educational Resources (OER) in their classes. In order to assist faculty with making such a decision, RFY is sponsoring OER Course Redesign Grants to be awarded in Spring 2019 with the goal of implementing redesigned courses by the end of 2020.
RFY Committee members will select ten outstanding applicants, and each awardee will receive:
  • $750 stipend;
  • Personalized support of a librarian to select an open textbook or OER materials;
  • Assistance from an SHSU Online Instructional Designer for online classes. 
Faculty receiving a grant will agree to:
  • Use selected OER materials for a minimum of two semesters;
  • Report selected outcome metrics to the RFY Committee (e.g., how many A's, B's, etc. earned in course; course drop rate);
  • If possible, to speak at an event for a future cohort of grant applicants. 

Learn More About OER or Begin Exploring OER

[Past] RFY Lunch & Learn Events

RFY and the Newton Gresham Library will host two Lunch & Learn events so that interested faculty may learn more about this grant opportunity before deciding whether to apply. Faculty may register to attend either:

  • Wednesday February 13th, 12:30 – 2:00 (NGL Room 101)
  • Thursday February 14th, 12:30 – 2:00 (NGL Room 101)

Lunch will be provided. The events will feature faculty panels of "early adopters" at SHSU, who will share their experiences about making the switch to open textbooks in diverse disciplines such as Math, Physics, History, and Political Science. Attendance is free, but space is limited, so reserve your seat in advance.


Attending a Lunch & Learn does not commit a faculty member to apply for the grant. Likewise, attendance at a Lunch & Learn is not required to apply and be considered for a grant. However, information about the submission process will be discussed, and faculty will have the opportunity to ask questions about the grant.


(Flyer: click the image to see a full-size version) 

Update on Program Results

Learn more about the results of this grant!

Apply for the Grant - Deadline March 1, 2019

Applications have now closed. We look forward to announcing the grant recipients by the end of March! 


  • All courses at all levels are eligible; the grant is not limited to first-year courses.
  • Eligibility is NOT limited to tenured or tenure-track faculty. All faculty teaching at SHSU are eligible to apply with the support of their department chair.
  • Faculty who already use OER in a course may still apply to redesign a different course.

Contact for Questions About the Grant or OER

Erin Owens
Associate Professor
Scholarly Communications Librarian
RFY Committee Member


Video: What is the Impact of a Free Book?


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