The Affordable Course Materials Conversion Summer Fellows Program is an incentive program designed to encourage Baylor University faculty to reduce the educational costs for their students by using library content, open educational resources (OER), or other low- or zero-cost materials. In particular, it is intended to encourage instructor experimentation in high-quality low- and no-cost learning materials for their students, especially through the use of OER.
A Baylor University education is not an inexpensive undertaking. At least half of our students receive some sort of financial aid, and the segment of the student population that is considered Pell-Grant eligible typically hovers around 20% each year. As an institution, we have taken steps to reduce the financial pressures on our economically vulnerable students including renewed efforts to increase our scholarship endowments and establishing food pantries and other programs to ensure our students have ready access to sufficient amounts of healthy foods. Another source of financial stress highlighted as a priority concern is the rising cost of textbooks and other required course materials.
Federal studies have indicated that textbook prices increase at a rate faster than other educational expenses (see more at the Bureau of Labor Statistics - https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/college-tuition-and-fees-increase-63-percent-since-january-2006.htm). Further, numerous studies by the Student Public Interest Research Groups have demonstrated how burgeoning textbook costs reduce affordability and access to essential materials for students, thereby diminishing their opportunities for academic growth and success. (See Recommendations to Faculty at https://studentpirgs.org/resources/textbook-faculty-recommendations/)
Ultimately, our goal is to assist faculty in locating low- or no-cost resources for their required course materials by leveraging our resources and expertise strategically. One essential element that we consider a top priority is an appropriate utilization of open educational resources (OER) where possible. For an overview of OER, please see our guide at https://researchguides.baylor.edu/OER.
Since the grant funds must be used to develop low- to zero-cost materials to support courses, potential recipients must have teaching responsibilities in credit-bearing courses at Baylor. Qualified instructors of record include:
*Part-time faculty and graduate student applicants will need to provide proof of support from the appropriate department chair or program coordinator with administrative oversight of the course indicated in the proposed conversion.
To be considered for this grant, proposals must meet the following criteria:
To encourage the adaptation and creation of resources that remain free, accessible, and adaptable for subsequent users, the grant may NOT be used for:
|November 2021||Program Guide Open for Public Review|
|January 2022||Application Period Open|
|March 2022||Application Deadline|
|March-April 2022||Application Review and Selection|
|April 2022||Award Recipients Notified and Announced|
|May 2022||Award Payments Disbursed|
|June-August 2022||Summer Fellows Program (details tbd)|