California State University - Affordable Learning Solutions
Issue #3, OCTOBER 15, 2015


The new 2015/2016 academic year affords many opportunities for students and faculty to benefit from the variety of free and low cost academic resources and programs being supported by the CSU Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) initiative.


AL$ distributed over $390,000 in campus grant awards to 22 CSU campuses in spring 2015. The funds will provide stipends for faculty adopting low or free course materials, funding for campus outreach and workshops, and support for faculty recognition events.

Please share the following with faculty: 
Fall 2015 HEOA Memo The Timely Ordering of Textbooks to Ensure CSU Students Continue to Receive Federal Financial Assistance from Dr. Gerry Hanley for Winter and Spring 2016 textbook requisitions.

MERLOT.ORG system updates, as well as the extensive MERLOT user communities' activities is being incorporated as a rich resource in the AL$ newsletter. If you have questions or suggestions about MERLOT topics you would like to see in the newsletter, please email

The Textbook Affordability Act, AB 798, was signed by Governor Brown on October 8, 2015. The bill expands potential grant funding opportunities up to $50,000 for low cost course materials’ awareness and adoption initiatives for any CSU campus. Stay tuned for additional information and AL$ strategies to be considered after January 1, 2016. CSU Press Release


Cool4Ed logo
Search for open and free textbooks by academic discipline.  Additional faculty reviews of open and free textbooks have been posted.


piggy bank icon
In the 2014/2015 academic year:
  • The CSU Bookstores saved students over $31M.
  • The CSU Rent Digital student savings increased 61% to approximately $3M.
  • The CSU AL$ initiative campus projects have saved students over $6M.

    The Auxiliary and Bookstore Resource Guide has been updated to include new store directors' and partners' contacts, new members on the bookstore advisory committee, and the "Five Easy Steps for Course Fee Approval."
XanEdu logo
XanEdu offers CSU Custom Cover Digital and Print Course Packs reducing students overall costs!

Sample Book CoverA simple approach to creating your custom course materials, include content from anywhere – articles from the web, lectures, libraries, OER – Open - Free Resources and more.  Select your campus to learn more.   

BootCamp logo
Café Learn Engaged Learning Bootcamp
introduced faculty to a variety of instructional materials including open educational resources and their adaptive learning software product.


The Online Learning Consortium and MERLOT are pleased to announce our new first-ever OLC Innovate 2016: Innovations in Blended and Online Learning. This conference will be held April 20-22, 2016 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

OLC Innovate 2016 is our new "hybrid conference", combining our former Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Symposium and our Blended Learning Conference, with a new focus on education innovation.
Watch a short video on the conference tracks.


AL$ Resources

SFSU Affordable Instructional Materials (AIM) initiative is showcasing the San Francisco State students’ perspectives on purchasing textbooks in an infographic. 

A San Francisco State instructor shares her motivations for saving her students money:

Screenshot of YouTube video

CSU San Bernardino instructor comments on affordable learning materials' resources she discovered in a faculty development workshop:
I learned in today's activities that there is a massive amount of free teaching/learning resources for professors/students in any discipline.  This is truly remarkable that many institutions are moving to provide affordable, and more astonishing, FREE resources to students.  This change in education is doing a great service to students since many students are experiencing financial burden in keeping up with cost of tuition.  I feel it is my responsibility to inform my students that they can access these resources to supplement my textbook and for that matter any college textbook.



Questions, ideas or comments about editorial content? E-mail Leslie Kennedy
Visit the Affordable Learning Solutions website for more information.

Unsubscribe   Update Subscription