What's New at AL$




Open Access Week 2020

October 19 - 25, 2020

International Open Access Week is a global, community-driven week of action to open up access to research. The event is celebrated by individuals, institutions and organizations across the world, and its organization is led by a global advisory committee. The official hashtag of Open Access Week is #OAweek.

Learning Everywhere: Open Educational Resources in the COVID-19 Era

Ideal for online learning, low- and no-cost learning materials leave room for faculty innovation while increasing student access and cost savings.

College student sitting at a computer

​Photo courtesy of CSU Channel Islands

​​​​In these challenging times, the California State University continues to develop ways to reduce students' expenses while maintaining a high-quality education. The CSU's Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) is an innovative program that enables faculty to choose and provide more affordable (and even free) quality educational content for students across the 23 CSU campuses.  Read Full Article

CSU Responds to Coronavirus Outbreak

The safety and well-being of California State University students, faculty and staff are foundational concerns for the institution. On this site, you’ll find Information about the university’s response to the outbreak, as well as links to individual campuses.

Initiatives undeway for low-cost, free textbooks for California college students

Students seeking alternatives to buying books - Ashley A. Smith

Universities across California, especially in the 23-campus California State University system, have become more transparent about textbooks and more proactive in assigning free, digital or low-cost books to students.  Full Article

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CSU's MERLOT is featured as the "mothership of OER" in Campus Technology.

CSU Annual AL$ Coordinators' RFP Meeting, February 6-7, 2020

NEW AL$ Featured Partners

We are excited to share information about our newest AL$ partners who have joined our efforts to improve student learning outcomes and reduce the overall cost of education for CSU students.

Designed by educators, panOpen is a next generation OER learning platform realizing the promise of OER and empowering faculty with tools for fully developed OER courses, faculty collaboration outside the confines of institutional software, LMS integration, homework, quizzes, teaching slides, and authoring tools, with excellent support.  For $25, faculty can adopt enhanced, interactive OER as they would a commercial textbook with the confidence in the quality and reliability of the content.  Visit our public library of OER titles to preview some of the titles available on the panOpen platform.  Press Release 10-15-2019


Odigia, Learning Liberated.  Anchored in a simple philosophy that different learners have different needs, Odigia removes the barriers created by the one-size fits-all-model of Education.  Odigia's ready to go Courseware empowers faculty, to create affordable and engaging learning experiences that improve learner engagement, and retention.  Visit Odigia's Courseware CatalogOdigia/CSU AL$ Partnership Announcement

Lumen Learning creates well-designed, interactive course materials that save time for faculty and improve learning for students. Supported courseware includes customizable textbooks, online homework, superb LMS integration, an awesome faculty support, all for just $25 per course.  Continual improvements makes Lumen's OER courses simple to use and more effective at supporting learning.  Visit Lumen's ready-to-adopt course catalog.


Awaken Student Curiosity with online discussion that simply works.

Packback is an "AI supported" online discussion platform that improves student curiosity, communication skills and critical thinking.  Packback delivers an easy-to-use and engaging discussion experience for students and professors, with powerful support from automated moderation sorting, and scoring algorithms. Packback.co or contact curious@packback.co 

Packback/CSU AL$ Partnership Announcement.

LibreTexts receives Open Textbooks Pilot Program Award

Congratulations to LibreTexts.org for leading a coalition of institutions to receive the first federal OER funding award, the Open Textbooks Pilot Program Award.

Inside Higher ED  Logo.jpg

Single Project Earns Federal OER Pilot Grant.   The federal government will award the entire $4.9 million of the first round of it's OER funding pilot to a STEM-focused open textbook project out of the University of California, Davis, the Department of Education confirmed with "Inside Digital Learning."  Read Full Article

CA Lawmakers Pass Food Security Bill Aimed at Helping College Students ABC 10

The bill would create a standardized form for colleges and universities to work with counties to enroll students in CalFreshArticle

SDSU's Immediate Access Projected to Save Students $4 Million

The Immediate Access program at SDSU helps ensure students have access to important course materials.  Through its Immediate Access program, San Diego State University estimates it will save students $4 million in textbook costs during the current academic year.  Full Article

CSU Channel Islands Offering Two Textbook Free Majors with Plans for More

CSUCI now has an alternative for some students worried about being able to afford textbooks.  CSUCI educators working together have developed two "Z-Majors" which are majors that use quality, free and readily available educational resources as opposed to textbooks, which can be costly.  CSUCI is the first in the CSU system to develop undergraduate "Z-Majors."   

Full CSUCI News Release

Ventura County Star article on CSUI's Z-Majors

No Textbook? Not a Problem - CSU Bakersfield Exploring Z Degree Majors

Zero-cost course materials are materials in which students can find online, for free, compared to their counterpart, textbooks.  This the defining characteristic of a Z- Major.  Affordable Learning Solutions and Textbook Affordability Coordinator Sandra Bozarth, spoke on the subject stating that, "if students are being provided their textbooks for free, in whatever format it is, I think that is going to help them succeed better in class."  FULL ARTICLE

NEW Academic Technologies Services Website Launched

Academic Technology Services (ATS) strives to identify, advance and support technology initiatives that enable student success through effective collaboration with the 23 campuses of the CSU.  We do this through four key priorities: Online Education, Affordable Learning, Transforming Education, and Scaling Innovation

    SB 1359 — CSUs and CCCs Identifying Courses with Free Course Materials 

    California Senate Bill 1359 requires California State University campuses “to clearly highlight, by means that may include a symbol or logo in a conspicuous place on the online campus course schedule, the courses that exclusively use digital course materials that are free of charge to students and may have a low-cost option for print versions.” The deadline to implement this designation in course schedules is January 1, 2018. Memo to CSU Presidents from Gerry Hanley, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Technology Services.



    Upcoming AL$/AB798 Webinars


    •  Thursday, September 17, 2020 - 12:00-1:00 p.m. PST

    To join the AL$/AB798 webinars https://calstate.zoom.us/j/5825306435, All times PDT. 

    For additional information, contact Theresa Dykes(tdykes@calstate.edu).


    AL$ / AB 798 Webinar Archives

    July 16, 2020

    June 18, 2020

    May 14, 2020

    April 16, 2020

    January 30, 2020

    November 14, 2019

    October 17, 2019

    September 26, 2019

    • Presentation Slides
    • Full Webinar Recording and Chat - Unavailable Due to Technical Difficulties

    June 27, 2019

    • Presentation Slides
    • Full Webinar Recording and Chat - Unavailable Due to Technical Difficulties

    May 23, 2019

    April 11, 2019

    March 14, 2019

    December 13, 2018

    • Presentation Slides
    • Full Webinar Recording and Chat - Unavailable Due to Technical Difficulties

    November 15, 2018

    October 18, 2018

    September 20, 2018

    August 23, 2018

    May 31, 2018

    April 26, 2018