Affordable Learning

In an effort to reduce educational costs for students, provide access to high-quality instructional materials and alternative resources, and recognize faculty efforts in making instructional materials freely available; Sonoma State is partnering with the CSU system on two key initiatives: the Affordable Learning Solutions program and AB 798 Textbook Affordability Act. Collectively, these efforts are intended to promote student achievement for students at SSU. SSU has convened a Steering Group with representatatives from Associated Students, Faculty, Disabled Student Services, Library, Faculty Center, Information Technology, and the SSU Bookstore. Below we provide a list of resources for your consideration.

Training and incentives for departments and individual faculty are available. Please contact the Faculty Center by phone 707-664-2659 or email faculty.center@sonoma.edu to participate.

College Textbook Affordability Act (AB 798) Program

SSU is participating the CSU-wide College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015 (AB 798) program to help faculty adopt high quality, free, accessible, and open educational resources for courses materials. Our goal is to reduce textbook costs for students by 30 percent per class section. Training and incentives available for faculty.

AB798 efforts and resources

Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$)

The AL$ program aims to cultivate and encourage faculty ambassadors to adopt low-cost and/or free quality texts and instructional materials from repositories such as MERLOT, Open Educational Resources Commons (OER), and the Library. Unlike the AB798 program, the AL$ program grants opportunities for faculty to author course materials.

Affordable Learning Solutions efforts and resources

Faculty have an plethera of options when considering what text books and instructional materials to adopt. Below are search tools and resources to help faculty find quality free or low-cost textbook alternatives to traditional textbooks. Workshops and incentives for departments and individual faculty who wish to discover and adopt free/ low-cost materials are available. Please contact the Faculty Center by phone 707-664-2659 or email faculty.center@sonoma.edu to participate.

  • SSU BookStore offers an array of options including a used and book rental program.
  • Sonoma State University Library view e-books, streaming media, and publications available to share with students online or place a book on reserve for students to use.
  • Open Educational Resource Repositories
    Free educational materials in small modules that can be organized as courses, books, reader materials, and academic assignments. Repositories may include texts, lesson plans, assessments, interactive multimedia, images, simulations, and sound recordings. In addition to using open-licensed or open-educational materials think about joining the global community by authoring and contributing your own.
  • Open Textbooks and Materials
    • California Open Online Library for Education (Cool4Ed) search for free textbooks/materials and reviews from faculty who use them.
    • OpenStax Textbooks offers free textbooks on a variety of subjects including Arts, Business, Humanities, Mathematics and Statistics, Science and Technology, and the Social Sciences.
    • Chemistry LibreTexts (Chemwiki) science-related open texts
    • ChemCollective online resources for the teaching and learning Chemistry virtual labs, scenario-based learning activities, tutorials, and concept tests
    • Undergraduate Statistics Resources
    • Curriki K-12 Standards-Based Resources
    • iLumina a digital library of sharable undergraduate teaching materials for chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, and computer science
    • National Science Digital Library online educational resources for teaching and learning, with current emphasis on the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines
    • National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) curriculum and learning resources for energy-related fields of study
    • Open Michigan open educational resources, publications, data, learning objects, multimedia, papers, presentations from the University of Michigan and beyond
    • Open Textbook Library offers textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality.

Our campus is in alignment with the Graduation Initiative to help students graduate in shorter time. We know that lowering the cost of their education through eliminating expensive textbooks will help with that goal. The AL$ Initiative, AB798, Open Access initiatives, as wells as the past SSU Textbook Alternative Projects align with our SSU Strategic Priorities to 'provide all students with the means of achieving timely graduation without sacrificing the high quality of the degrees they earn'.

Below are some search tools and resources to help students find quality free or low-cost textbook alternatives to traditional textbooks.