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Textbook Affordability Fellows

Program Updates

The Textbook Affordability Fellows program is on pause due to lack of funding. We are hopeful that funding can be secured in the future so this highly successful, high impact program can be continued.

Program Description

Free-to-access textbooks and course materials have been demonstrated to directly impact student success by improving student performance and retention, especially for low-income and first-generation college students.

The Textbook Affordability Fellowship is designed to support faculty by providing resources needed to transform their courses using Open Educational Resources (OER) or other no-cost materials. This program combines a week-long training intensive with ongoing coaching, support, and community meetings throughout the textbook adoption/course transformation process. These opportunities are provided through a fully online and/or hybrid access model to facilitate access and engagement regardless of location.

Program Outcomes


  • Improve student success, retention, and achievement by reducing course materials costs for UAA students.
  • Foster individual skills in finding, evaluating, and adopting free-to-access/open educational resources.
  • Support faculty in using innovative design, tools, and concepts to create meaningful teaching and learning experiences.


  • Adopt free-to-access or openly licensed textbook/course materials for at least one course (in lieu of commercial materials).
  • Engage within a learning community by contributing resources, collaborating, and providing feedback to peers.
  • Demonstrate the use of innovative, accessible design principles in the development and design/redesign of a course to affect meaningful student learning experiences.

Who Can Participate

Faculty Textbook Affordability Fellows must be an instructor of record in a regularly-offered course. Faculty of all types/ranks (e.g., tenure track, adjunct, or term), subject matter, and campuses (e.g., Goose Lake/Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula College, Kachemak Bay Campus, Prince William Sound Community College) are encouraged!

Successful completion of the program requires meeting the following objectives:

  • Participate fully in the 1-week intensive workshop (typically offered during the Summer term)
  • Participate in the monthly follow-up support sessions (scheduled at the availability of program leadership and participating faculty)
  • Meet 1-on-1 with the instructional design librarian to develop a search strategy and review available resources to support course transformation
  • Meet with instructional designers/technologists with Faculty Development and Instructional Support to facilitate course transformation (as needed)
  • Provide copies of course syllabi pre- and post-adoption to document course transformation
  • Deliver the transformed course at least twice, or provide the transformed course once during the Fellowship and plus attestation that the  transformed course will be offered once more in the subsequent academic year

If you are committed to making learning affordable for UAA students, or are someone who is always looking for ways to improve your courses and your students' performance and learning outcomes, this program is for you.

Selection Criteria

Applying to the Textbook Affordability Fellowship is a competitive process. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee from the UAA Textbook Affordability Committee, and scored based on following criteria:

  • Number of students affected (based on average enrollment over the past two academic years), favoring high enrollment courses
  • Cost savings for students, as determined by a new copy of the current textbook/materials, favoring courses that will achieve high student savings
  • Potential to improve student success (based on student performance data for the past two academic years), favoring courses with traditionally high DFW rates
  • Potential to improve student success (based on student performance data for the past two academic years), favoring courses with traditionally high DFW rates for Alaska Native students
  • Potential to improve student retention, favoring preparatory (000-level) and GER courses
  • Potential for the longevity of adoption, favoring teams of Fellows from the same program or for the same course


A typical Fellowship program includes the following deliverables and rough timeline*:

  • Spring (year 1)
    • Complete program application (typically by/before March 1)
    • Selected Fellows notified 2+ months before workshop begins
  • Summer (year 1)
    • Complete 1-week intensive workshop
    • Begin researching ZTC/OER course resources
  • Fall (year 1)
    • Participate regularly in the Textbook Affordability Fellows (TAF) community
  • Spring (year 2)
    • ​​​​​​​Participate regularly in the TAF community
    • Document process of course transformation to share back with TAF peers
    • "Give back" news about the course transformation to the larger community (e.g., newsletter post, conference presentation, scholarly/creative activity)

*The process of course transformation and delivery is different for all courses. As a result, faculty Fellows are expected to offer their transformed course at least once​​​​​​​ during the Fellowship year.

Program Leadership, Partners, and Funding

This program was initially developed by UAA Textbook Affordability co-chairs Dr. Veronica Howard (Associate Professor, Psychology) and D'Arcy Hutchings (Associate Professor, Library) in close collaboration with Academic Innovations & eLearning.

Funding for this program in 2019-2022 was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, specifically their Alaska Native-Serving and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Education Competitive Grants Program with contributions from Academic Innovations & eLearning and the Consortium Library.

Contact Me

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D'Arcy Hutchings
Instructional Design Librarian,
Associate Professor