Sinclair Community College's Affordable Learning Initiatives
Sinclair Community College has been an advocate of affordable learning for years.
As of Fall 2018, Sinclair has adopted OER textbooks in 6 of its top 10 highest
enrollment courses. Sinclair students saved an estimated $1.5 million in the 2016-17
academic year as a result of OER adoptions.
At Sinclair, OER initiatives are led by a cross-disciplinary task force. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), has provided support for OER efforts in all academic divisions in the form of Course ReVisioning grants. In addition, faculty & staff in various departments including the CTL, Library, eLearning, Disability Services and the Bookstore, are members of the OER Incubator, a learning community devoted to promoting and sharing information about the diffusion of OER at Sinclair.
The CTL’s Course ReVisioning Grants (funded jointly by the CTL and Sinclair’s eLearning division) have facilitated the adoption of OER texts in diverse departments ranging from English and Psychology to Geographic Information Systems and Nursing.
In 2017 Sinclair was chosen to participate in the OpenStax Institutional Partnership after a rigorous application process that included demonstrating willingness to drive adoption of open educational resources (OER). As an institutional partner, Sinclair received individualized consulting from OpenStax and collaborated with a cohort of schools advocating widespread use of OER at their schools.
In addition to OER, Sinclair strives for increased textbook affordability in other ways. Sinclair librarians work with disciplinary faculty to determine whether already licensed library content can be used in lieu of traditional textbooks. Classes that have adopted library resources as textbooks include Communications and Computer Information Systems.
The Sinclair library also maintains a robust print course reserves program. For the 2016-17 academic year, 179 students checked out the same reserve textbook three or more times, which amounts to a savings of $32,000.