March 10th, 2021 – 11:20 AM
Georgia Highlands College –
Georgia Highlands College’s (GHC) faculty have been hard at work applying for and implementing a number of Affordable Learning Georgia Grants with the goal of ensuring that every GHC student has access to a quality, affordable college education.
To date, over half a million in grants has been awarded to GHC faculty and has been used to directly benefit thousands of students.
Georgia Highlands College was listed in a press release by OpenStax, a publisher based at Rice University, as a top college in Georgia and as one of the top 10 colleges in the nation that served the most students with the adoption of free college textbooks in the 2017-2018 school year.
The University of Georgia and GHC were the only institutions in Georgia to make the list.
GHC’s faculty have been working since fall 2015 to expand Open Education Resources (OER) courses each semester. OER course conversions are aided by the University System of Georgia’s Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG) initiative which promotes student success by providing cost-free alternatives to expensive textbooks.
Currently, GHC faculty have received 46 grants from ALG, but the effort to do more is still going strong. GHC’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) has recently launched a LibGuide to support GHC instructors interested in applying for ALG grants.
“Navigating the process for an ALG grant can be challenging, especially since it differs from school to school based on institutional requirements,” Librarian Susanna Smith said. “This guide brings together all our local policies as well as basic FAQs and a list of all GHC open educational resources.”
Rachel Ruppercht, an instructional designer for CETL, said many GHC faculty and students know about the benefits of ALG grants.
“ALG grants are a great asset for both GHC faculty and students,” Ruppercht said. “They provide financial support for faculty to develop low- and no-cost alternatives to expensive textbooks. Those alternatives make a college education even more affordable for GHC students, which helps set them up for success.”
The online ALG information site, affordablelearninggeorgia.org, gives details on the grants, how to apply, how to use the grants effectively and more.