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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Textbook costs are rising at an alarming rate, but the instructors at Herkimer College are doing something about it! Every semester, in more and more courses, expensive textbooks are being replaced with high quality no-cost OER textbooks. These alternative textbooks are accessible online from the first day of class, and students who want a printed textbook can obtain it for little or no cost.

Courses with the "Open Educational Resources" designation are available in every degree and certificate program. Starting in the 2018 fall semester, students in the General Studies A.A. and the Social Science A.A. programs will be able to select courses allowing them to complete their entire degree program without purchasing a single textbook. We call these two programs "Z-Degrees" because there is zero cost for textbooks. Additional Z-degree programs are in the works, and already over half of our degree and certificate programs use OER in 50 percent or more of the courses.

There are many advantages of OER courses!

  • OER removes the cost barrier for students , making more money available for other expenses. 
  • OER ensures students have access to textbooks from the first day of class. There’s no waiting for financial aid or book delivery, so students don’t risk falling behind in the reading, making it more likely for students to succeed in and complete their OER courses. 
  • OER provides continued access to the textbook after the course has ended.

Students enrolled in OER courses are charged a nominal $20 fee per OER course to cover costs associated with providing OER, such as vendor and SUNY OER services fees, and OER course development costs.

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