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Affordable Learning Ohio

Cleveland State University’s Affordable Initiatives

Cleveland State UniversityPartners across the University are working in close collaboration to reduce the cost of learning materials for our students while maintaining a quality product to enhance student learning and success.  With support from the Provost’s Office, partners in these efforts include Colleges and Academic Departments, Center for eLearning, Center for Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, Center for Teaching Excellence, the campus bookstore and the Division of Student Affairs, Student Government Association, the C-M Law Library, and the Michael Schwartz Library.  Additionally, CSU’s Faculty Senate has recently created a Textbook Adoption Policy Committee with partners from many of these units. For more information about our affordable learning initiatives, please visit:

Textbook Affordability Initiatives

  • The campus bookstore shares the course material adoption data it receives from faculty with the Library to identify library holdings assigned as course materials—especially e-books and digital content.  Typically 30 or more ebooks are identified as identical to assigned textbooks each semester.  Students access these library ebook holdings approx. 1,000 times each semester, thereby accessing the course content at no charge.
  • The Textbook Center in the Michael Schwartz Library was created in Spring 2017 to expand the Library’s traditional support of course materials by offering more textbooks for general education classes.  From Spring 2017 to Fall 2017, the number of courses served by the Textbook Center more than doubled from 140 to 283 and resulted in 1556 student uses.
  • Student Government Association began a “Donate your Textbook to the Library” program at the end of Spring 2017 to help increase student access to required textbooks—over 50 books were initially added to the Textbook Center, others to the main collection.

Advocacy Initiatives

  • The Vice President for Student Affairs provides weekly communication to deans, chairs and department heads regarding what courses lack course material information after the adoption deadline passes each semester to remind faculty of their impact on students’ access to less costly course material with timely adoption.
  • Center for Faculty Excellence—sponsors workshops on Copyright, Creative Commons licenses, and Open Textbooks.
  • Center for Faculty Excellence and the Provost’s Office sponsor events such as the Provost’s Teaching Summit where adopters of open textbooks can share their findings.
  • Cleveland State University joined the Open Textbook Network in Spring 2014 and has been an active participate in the development of the program.
  • Library Research Guide on Open Textbook ( brings together valuable information for CSU faculty seeking more information regarding how to reduce the cost of learning materials.  Librarians and eLearning’s instructional designers actively promote open resources to faculty colleagues and serve on teams to support small grant recipients.

Adoption Initiatives

  • In Spring 2016, The Michael Schwartz Library began offering “Textbook Affordability Small Grants.”  By Fall 2017, 14 grants had been awarded with an estimated impact to 1,320 students.  If the open textbooks replaced books that cost on average, $100 each, then CSU students saved a cumulative total of $132,000 from just the first year implementations of these grants.
  • Building upon a Spring 2017 small grant, CSU’s First-Year Writing Program submitted a grant proposal to expand the initial open textbooks to all English 100, 101, and 102 classes starting Fall 2018.  In collaboration with the Michael Schwartz Library, the Provost Office funded this proposal which will impact approximately 3200 students each year, saving them an estimated $180,000 in the first year alone.
Contact Information: Dr. Glenda Thornton, Director, Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115-2214, 216-687-3686,