Professional News

Alternative Textbook Grants Available for 2018

photo of graph of CPI for tuition and school items 2006-2016
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that prices for college textbooks increased by 88 percent between 2006 and 2016.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 27, 2017) University of Kentucky Libraries is now accepting proposals for the 2018-19 Alternative Textbook Grant Program, which aims to encourage UK faculty to adopt open access textbooks or to create original learning materials for their courses. Faculty may apply for one of 10 grants of up to $1,500 each to implement curriculum change required for using an alternative textbook or to produce the content of an alternative textbook. 

UK Libraries has held two rounds of the Alternative Textbook Grant Program since 2015. Eight of the funded courses had been taught by August 2017 with an approximate total enrollment of 1,535 students. Overall estimated savings for the students were $301,101, averaging $196.16 of estimated savings per impacted student.  

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that prices of college textbooks soared by 88 percent between 2006 and 2016. Studies reveal that exorbitant textbook costs hamper students’ access to essential resources for academic success. Alternative textbooks present a viable option for students and provide instructors with the flexibility to customize course content as needed. 

“The grant recipients appreciated the opportunities to discover and adopt alternative textbooks for their courses,” said Mary Beth Thomson, UK Libraries senior associate dean. “Their feedback and the program outcomes demonstrated that teaching with an alternative textbook was beneficial to both the instructor and the students. UK Libraries is delighted to continue our support for the use of alternative textbooks.” 

Current UK faculty teaching a course in academic year 2018-19 using a commercial textbook are eligible to apply for one of the 10 grants. UK Libraries’ academic liaisons can provide grant recipients with assistance in identifying open access textbooks and UK Libraries’ licensed information resources that are appropriate substitutes for traditional textbooks. 

Proposals must be submitted via the program’s online form by Dec. 22, 2017. All applicants will be notified of the results in the spring of 2018. After teaching the specified course with an alternative textbook, each grant recipient is required to submit a description of the outcomes and an evaluation of their experience with the program. 

Details about the Alternative Textbook Grant Program are available online here. Interested faculty can also contact Adrian Ho, UK Libraries director of Digital Scholarship, or Mary Beth Thomson, UK Libraries senior associate dean, for more information. 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue