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The UCLA Library Affordable Course Materials Initiative encourages instructors to use low-cost or free alternatives to expensive course materials. The Initiative better aligns Library collections with instruction needs and has helped thousands of UCLA students save on textbook expenses by pairing their instructors with a team of library specialists who help instructors adopt alternatives that may include open-access scholarly resources, Library-licensed and owned resources, and learning objects and texts that faculty create themselves.
An important goal of ACMI is to bring the student cost of course materials as close to ZERO as possible. Awards are available of $1,000 each for instructors teaching courses with enrollments of fewer than two hundred students and of $2,500 each for instructors teaching courses with enrollments of more than two hundred students. Collection development awards may also be designated to build or enhance library collections in support of specific courses.
The financial sums are meant to offer an incentive for the time it will take instructors to identify new resources, adjust syllabi, and modify assignments and can also be used to cover any actual expenses incurred by the instructor. Each applicant must be the instructor of record, and the courses must be for enrolled students (i.e., not UCLA Extension courses) at the undergraduate or graduate level.
The initiative has been endorsed by the Office of the UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and the UCLA Academic Senate.
Each applicant must be the instructor of record. Courses can be at the undergraduate or graduate level but must be for enrolled students (i.e., not UCLA Extension courses).
Applicants are asked to complete a one-page application form and attend a one-hour workshop at which Library staff members introduce search strategies and possible sources for open-access or low-cost instructional resources, and applicants can share ideas with one another and brainstorm.
The one-page application form is available online at ACMI Application or in Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word formats. Online applications are automatically received upon submission; electronic applications in Word or PDF format can be saved and submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be processed in the order they are received.
Electronic applications that are not submitted through the online webform should be sent to: email@example.com. Applicants will receive confirmation notices when their application forms are received.
Applications are reviewed by a small committee to assess alignment with ACMI objectives and to determine if the course is best served through this or other Library services and initiatives. Each awardee will be assigned an individual librarian, who will work personally with him or her to assist with locating materials. At the conclusion of each awarded course, the instructor is asked to complete an assessment in order to determine the initiative’s pedagogical and financial impact.
- For Fall Quarter 2017 courses: Apply now! Applications are due by May 21.
- For Winter Quarter 2018: Applications are due by August 1.
- For Spring Quarter 2018: Applications are due by October 21.
Funds are awarded throughout the academic year until they have been exhausted. Instructors teaching courses during later quarters are encouraged to apply by the earlier deadline.
The high price of course materials, including but not limited to textbooks, is a major concern to students and parents; a web page on UCLA’s undergraduate admissions site estimates it will total $1,173 per student for the current academic year. Legislative action to address these costs have been taken by the U.S. Congress and the California Legislature. The UCLA Store has taken steps to lower textbook prices, and the Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC) has created a textbook lending library, but the problem resists easy, unilateral solutions.
Several years ago, the UCLA Library launched a collaborative project with USAC and the UCLA Store that continues to lower the cost of printed course readers by leveraging Library-licensed/owned materials. Expanding upon this high-outcome/low-cost effort, the Library has identified a larger role it can play in lowering the cost of course materials, adapted from similar programs created recently by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Temple University.
In addition to better integrating UCLA Library collections and services into instruction, this initiative strives to work with UCLA faculty to more effectively make their scholarly articles, books, and instructional resources available to students and colleagues through open access.
For Further Information
Explore the ACMI guide to learn more about Open Educational Resources, maximizing Fair Use, and other ways to reduce the costs of educational materials for your students.
If you have any questions, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 206-3388.