AASCU Innovations Exchange
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Academic Fiscal Management

Curricular Audit for Cost Containment and Student Success Lyndon State College Project Description: This initiative involved an in-depth analysis of every academic program to determine its financial viability and its success in serving students.  A comprehensive set of data was compiled and analyzed by an academic administrative team.  Data and preliminary observations were shared with each academic department and the team met with departments to discuss potential curricular changes.  The analysis occurred over one year with follow-up analysis and curricular revision spilling into the subsequent year.  The project has resulted in the closure of several academic majors, minors, and concentrations and the pruning of required and elective courses.  These changes resulted in cost savings for the college.  The analysis of student success measures has focused faculty on developing strategies to increase student success in their programs. Read more >>

Saving Students Money on Textbooks by Promoting Open Educational Resources Indiana State University Project Description: Indiana State University (ISU) is reducing the cost of attending college for its students by encouraging instructors to adopt free open educational resources (OERs) for use in the classroom instead of high-cost traditional publisher textbooks. This approach stems from an internal report by the Affordability Taskforce, completed in 2012, which explored strategies for reducing the cost of textbooks and supplies. Using public domain or open access materials was among the cost saving avenues explored in the report. A Strategic Plan initiative was created to support this project, which provides a $3,000 stipend to individual instructors for each undergraduate course that they convert to the use of OERs in place of traditional textbooks.Using OERs instead of traditional textbooks generates other outcomes in addition to saving money for students. First, OERs allow instructors to choose custom learning materials that specifically address learning outcomes for the course. Since most of the materials are born digital, they are also easily updated and revised to include new information. Students reap other benefits as well. They have immediate access to a course’s learning materials from day one; they do not have to wait for their financial aid money to be awarded to purchase a textbook. All combined, these benefits should facilitate enhanced student retention and success rates.  Read more >>