HSU Sustainable Learning

part of the CSU affordable Learning Solutions

The Affordable Learning Solutions initiative from the Chancellor’s Office has funded HSU’s Sustainable Learning Program to support faculty adoption and evaluation of open textbooks, open educational resources (OER), or self-authored materials that faculty are willing to openly license. The HSU Sustainable Learning Program will support faculty through its partnership with the Library, College of eLearning & Extended Education, Student Disability Resource Center, Bookstore and others to help faculty decrease the cost of an education for our students and provide high-quality, peer-reviewed learning materials. 

Interested in learning more? Please visit HSU’s OER Guide.

HSU Sustainable Learning 2017 Workshop January 12th!

HSU faculty are invited to participate in an HSU Sustainable Learning workshop January 12th, 9am-Noon or 1-4pm and qualify for a $300 professional development award. As part of the CSU Affordable Learning Solutions, we know that making a college education more affordable for students is important for their success.

If you want to learn how to find high-quality free online educational resources, free library ebooks, or affordable textbook options from the bookstore, please RSVP at

Past HSU Sustainable Learning Workshops

Held on May 20th, 31st, and June 1st, 2016.

10:30am - Noon Finding Open Educational Resources / Open Textbooks
Library 121 Lab: Instruction with hands-on activities to locate and evaluate resources
Noon - 1:30pm Lunch with HSU Bookstore
Library Fishbowl: Discussion of strategies to reduce textbook costs
1:30pm - 3pm Finding Alternative Resources and HSU Press
Library 121 Lab: Instruction with hands-on activities to locate and evaluate resources


  • Support locating useful high-quality educational resources that lower the cost of a college education, and increase student learning.
  • Reduce student spending on textbook. Survey results of 309 HSU students during fall 2016: 65% of students indicated they skipped buying a required textbooks because of its costs, and 22.6% said they have not taken or dropped a course because of textbook costs.
  • See if participants are interested in additional opportunities with AB798 Textbook Affordability.

Fall 2015 Project

HSU Sustainable Learning 2015 was a program to support HSU Faculty and Instructors to:

  • evaluate an Open Textbook you recently adopted;
  • select a high-quality open textbook and evaluate the impact; or
  • openly license a course resource you developed that replaces a textbook.

Results so far: Humboldt State University Faculty Showcases

Additional Notes about HSU Sustainable Learning

The HSU Sustainable Learning program is a campus strategy for implementing the CSU Affordable Learning Solutions initiative. HSU College of eLearning & Extended Education and HSU Library are partnering with the Bookstore, the Faculty Development Working Group, the Student Disability Resources Center, and others to decrease the cost of an education by developing a sustained program for adopting open educational resources, promoting an OER learning community, and developing support infrastructure to ensure high-quality resources are available for students and faculty.

Our program goals are to promote and support faculty in evaluating and adopting high-quality, peer-reviewed open textbooks and open educational resources (OER), and other resources that reduce the need for costly textbooks. One of our goals is to demonstrate that no-cost or low cost learning materials are as good as or better than commercial textbooks.


The cost of obtaining a college degree continues to rise. Nationally, students spend approximately $1,200 annually for textbooks.

The HSU strategic planning survey of students reported that 83.69% of the 233 survey respondents identified that “being able to afford college so I can keep attending HSU” was extremely important; a related question about “getting more access to things I need for class” was ranked among the top 3 important factors.

Lastly, a recent national survey indicated some 65% of students are not purchasing a textbook because it was too expensive and 94% of those worried that doing so would hurt their grade.


For comments, questions, or suggestions, please contact Cyril Oberlander, Library Dean.