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, lower-cost learning materials. 

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

Sustainable Learning call for Department Proposals: Equity, Access, and Achievement

Interested in support with achieving your Graduation Initiative 2025 goals and receiving some CSU funding and consultative services to get there? We are offering a funding and consulting opportunity to assist your department in doing precisely that. HSU Library and the College of Extended Education and Global Engagement are providing a workshop and consultations to help make college textbooks more affordable to students and course redesign so that your department achieves greater student success for all students.

The Details...
Thanks to CSU’s Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) and Quality Assurance (CRT/QA) grant programs, HSU Library & CEEGE are seeking two departments, one for fall and one for spring, interested in redesigning one or more of their bottleneck/high-failure rate courses to improve student success through quality assurance course design and the reduction of cost barriers that can result in higher DFW rates.


  • Assist department faculty with selecting and/or authoring affordable, accessible instructional materials and incorporating them in lieu of expensive textbooks
  • Guide faculty through a course redesign process organized around learning objectives and their assessment, and focusing on student engagement.
  • Ensure both the quality and accessibility of the course curriculum

Department commitments
Faculty members who teach or are connected (e.g. teach another course in a course sequence) to the courses being redesigned will:

  • Attend a 1-hour face-to-face introductory collaboration
  • Attend a 2-hour Sustainable Learning hands-on workshop to locate and evaluate affordable textbooks
  • Complete a facilitated, asynchronous two-week transformational course redesign online training
  • Attend a 1-hour face-to-face celebration sharing your next steps

Following the sessions, participating department and faculty will report on their implementation plan, progress, and provide feedback on session effectiveness and opportunities for improvement

Department benefits: Participating departments will receive

  • Improved student success and retention
  • Expert consulting from Library faculty and Academic Technology staff
  • $5,000 transferred to the department (upon completion of the next steps plan)
  • Recognition at the Teaching and Learning Innovations Showcase

Faculty benefits: Participating faculty will receive

  • A $300 stipend when they complete the online course redesign training.
  • When faculty implement a sustainable learning solution, they will have the opportunity to share their work at a monthly Teaching and Learning Luncheon and receive an additional stipend of $250.


  • Call for proposal August 21 - September 7 (Watch for Q&A session announcements)
  • Fall department participation September 5 – October 10 (workshop date/time based upon your availability)
  • Fall department feedback via report or informal presentation due in December
  • Spring department participation February 5 – March 9 (workshop date/time based upon your availability)
  • Spring department feedback via report or presentation due in May

Proposals will be selected based on the potential impact on student success measures, so the more enrollment/classes and faculty participating from a department, the more likely your department will be selected.

Please submit your departmental proposal using the following online form.

Cyril Oberlander, University Library Dean
Susan Glassett Farrelly, Director of Academic Technology

Impact of Textbook Costs on Students

Survey results of 309 HSU students during fall 2016 showed:

  • 65% of students indicated they skipped buying a required textbooks because of its costs
  • 22.6% said they have not taken or have dropped a course because of textbook costs

Florida’s 2016 survey results of 22,000 students showed:

  • 47.6% take fewer courses
  • 26.1% drop a course
  • 20.7% withdraw from a course
  • 27.6% earn a poor grade because can’t afford to buy textbook

HSU Faculty Showcases

Many HSU Faculty have participated in saving students tens of thousands of dollars each year. Visit 16 HSU Faculty Showcases at

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 offer a faculty development program 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.