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Affordable Course Materials

In 2015, the University Libraries began partnering with the CTE on an initiative funded by the Provost to address a significant barrier to student learning, the cost of course materials (by some estimates over $1000 per semester, or twice as much as the maximum allotment from financial aid).  A limited number of grants worth $2,000 each have been awarded annually on a competitive basis to full-time faculty revising their curriculum to include high quality affordable textbooks and other material.   Grant recipients have curated public domain content, incorporated subscribed journals and databases from BC Libraries, and authored textbooks themselves (in at least three cases, replacing texts costing more than $100 with one available for free).  The program benefitted more than 1000 students in its first three years.  

CTE and Library staff have collaborated to offer an introductory workshop for prospective applicants, award grants and form teams to assist with the projects funded.  Each has received support for:

  • Content discovery and acquisition, from a Library Subject Specialist
  • Copyright and Fair Use consultation, from O’Neill Library Scholarly Communication and Research
  • Course and design, from a CTE Instructional Designer or Developer
  • Media, technology or other consultation as needed, from appropriate BC specialists

Visit the Library Guide on Affordable Course Materials Initiative

More about the project: "Toward Textbook Economies" from The Boston College Magazine.

Project Coordinators

  • Margaret Cohen, Head Librarian, Educational Initiatives & Research, Educational Resource Center
  • Jane Morris, Head, Scholarly Communication and Research, O’Neill Library

CTE Liaison

  • Sarah Castricum, Senior Instructional Developer, CTE

textbook prices chart