Miller F. Whittaker Library Facilitates Use of Affordable Textbook Alternatives Among HBCUs

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – Twelve historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will receive a sub-award, the Textbook Transformation Grant, through the Miller F. Whittaker Library’s previously awarded grant to redesign a General Education Curriculum (GEC) course. The Miller F. Whittaker Library’s grant was funded by the Institute for Library and Museum Services to support the HBCU Academic Librarian Open Educational Resources (OER) Project. The HBCU Academic Librarian OER Project will allow GEC courses to replace a commercial textbook with low-cost or no-cost course materials, including OERs.

The project is designed to improve student retention and affordability among HBCUs by promoting the use of OERs through librarian advocacy, training and course redesign.

A two-day summit on Open Educational Resources was held in Charleston, South Carolina, in February of 2020, where over 100 academic librarians and faculty were in attendance, representing HBCUs throughout the nation. Through a blind review evaluation process, 12 HBCUs were selected to receive the Textbook Transformation Grant sub-award.

Faculty and librarian teams at each institution will work in partnership to redesign a GEC course that will replace a commercial textbook with a more affordable option.

“Through the collaboration of librarians and faculty at HBCUs, the Textbook Transformation Grant sub-awards will enhance efforts to improve student retention by reducing cost barriers to learning resources, and will provide students access to these resources on day one of their classroom experience,” said Dr. Ruth Hodges, project principal investigator and interim dean of the Miller F. Whittaker Library.

“Librarians have traditionally played a key role in serving as information resources for colleges and universities. The Textbook Transformation Grant sub-awards will allow academic librarians and faculty to work collaboratively to incorporate the use of OERs in courses that will ultimately benefit students at HBCUs,” said Diane M. Burnette, co-principal investigator and executive director of SC State’s Center for Online and Distance Education.

Dr. Susan Kwosek, assistant professor of history in the Department of Social Sciences, and Avery Daniels, Miller F. Whittaker Library archivist, are the sub-award recipients from South Carolina State University.

The HBCUs selected for the Textbook Transformation Grant sub-awards and the titles of the GEC courses they will redesign are listed below.

Tennessee State University
American History II

Florida A&M University
Introduction to African American History

Atlanta University Center - Morehouse College
Social Problems and Global Issues

Trenholm State Community College
Principles of Biology I

Prairie View A&M University
College Biology I

South Carolina State University
History of World Civilization-Beginnings to 1750

Bennett College
Introduction to United States Government

Lincoln University of Pennsylvania
Introduction to Mass Communications

University of the Virgin Islands
World Literature I

Texas Southern University
Introduction to Computer Science

St. Philip’s College
Fine Arts Appreciation

Miles College
English Composition