Volunteer State Community College today announced it is one of 12 schools chosen to participate in the 2020-2021 OpenStax Institutional Partnership Network. As a participant in the network’s first-year program Vol State will work actively to build and execute a strategy that will encourage greater use of free, flexible textbooks among its faculty and students.
Vol State was chosen to participate in this strategic partnership with OpenStax by demonstrating an eagerness to drive adoption of open educational resources (OER). Free to access and fully modifiable, OER provides students and educators with fair and flexible teaching and learning materials.
Participants in the OpenStax Institutional Partner Network’s first-year program will receive individualized consulting from OpenStax and join a cohort of colleges and universities advocating widespread use of OER at their schools. On average, the institutions who join as the network increase the number of students impacted by OER by 158% after completing the first year. To date, the program has resulted in over 20 million dollars of additional student savings from OER.
“The coaching, training, and support will enhance our efforts to provide more educational resources to our students and thereby reduce or eliminate text book costs associated with many of our courses,” said Vol State president, Jerry Faulkner.
“As a past OpenStax intern who attends Volunteer State Community College, I am excited to see the institutional partnership between both OpenStax and Vol State,” said Vol State sophomore Barbara Gooch. “The door that this could open in making more professors aware of OpenStax and OER, and the cost benefits to students, is a cause dear to my heart and I cannot wait to see where this takes Vol State within that partnership."
Open educational resources, including the free, openly licensed textbooks offered by OpenStax, eliminate cost barriers for students and allow unrestricted, immediate access to learning materials, increasing the likelihood for students to complete their courses successfully. In addition to the immediate benefits to students, open educational resources are offered under a Creative Commons license, allowing instructors to modify textbooks to better serve their unique teaching and evolving student needs.
For more information on Vol State’s open educational resource initiative, visit www.volstate.edu. Volunteer State Community College has more than 100 areas of study and offers two-year degrees, certificates and paths to university transfer with campuses in Gallatin, Springfield, Cookeville, and Livingston, and through online education.
OpenStax is committed to improving access to quality learning materials. An initiative of Rice University and supported by philanthropic foundations, OpenStax provides free, high quality, peer-reviewed textbooks and affordable educational technology designed to improve learning outcomes. For more information, visit OpenStax.org.