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NKU Joins Program to Make Educational Resources More Accessible

Northern Kentucky University has been selected to participate in the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Institute on Open Educational Resources. NKU is the only university in the Commonwealth joining the year-long program designed to help institutions adopt accessible and affordable instructional materials.

Open educational resources are classroom materials such as textbooks or single lessons that are free for the campus community to use. NKU will spend the next year scaling the project so that all learners will have access to the same course material on the first day of class next fall.

“This is about leveling the playing field. Many of our students are the first in their families to pursue a college degree and often work full-time jobs while attending class,” said Dean Andrea Falcone, with the W. Frank Steely Library. “Prioritizing equal access and removing financial burdens directly upholds our dedication to being a student-ready campus.”

NKU’s strategic framework, Success by Design, outlines three pillars of student success: access, completion and career & community engagement. The initiative aligns with the framework by providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students.

The project builds on the momentum of Steely Library’s Textbook Affordability Program. Through generous supporters of the university, the library launched the program last year to provide students with access to digital textbooks in high-enrolled courses. The program saved approximately $350,000 in textbook costs for 6,000 NKU students.

“We want to make an impact on the lives of our students,” said Dean Falcone. “This is both an equity and affordability strategy, with the opportunity to further advance student success and find new solutions that meet their needs.”

Through this institute, a team of NKU leaders will work with AAC&U to implement the comprehensive project with benchmarks for success. 

-Staff report