Grants Reduce Textbook Expenses for Students


SAU students will realize significant savings when they purchase text materials both this coming spring and going forward through grants awarded by the Iowa Private Academic Libraries (IPAL) consortium.

The grants will cover the costs incurred for the creation, adaptation, and use of open educational resource (OER) textbooks and other materials for courses in Music Theory 201 and 301, 20th Century Art History, and Philosophy 100 Philosophy Quest. Students in eight sections of Mathematics and two additional sections of Music Theory also saved on course materials costs this past fall thanks to IPAL grants.

"It's exciting to see how the faculty in these disciplines are using the IPAL grants to reduce financial barriers that students experience and to make course materials more accessible; they deserve to be recognized for their efforts," said Julia Salting, MLS, Interim Director of the SAU Library.

SAU faculty who submitted grant applications through the IPAL program this year were William Campbell, PhD, Professor of Music; Terri Switzer, PhD, Professor and Director of the Art History and Museum Studies programs; Alfredo McLaughlin, PhD, Professor of Philosophy; and Junyi Dong, Assistant Professor of Mathematics.

Their efforts reflect an ongoing emphasis at St. Ambrose University to help make the cost of a college education as affordable as possible, and builds on an OER initiative that has been in place at St. Ambrose for several years now, said Paul Koch, PhD, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at St. Ambrose.

"These funds were made available to Iowa private colleges as part of the government response to those impacted by the pandemic," Koch noted. "Our students have been challenged and the IPAL consortium grants are among the many ways institutions like St. Ambrose are ensuring students benefit from this federal outreach."

In Fall 2020, St. Ambrose University joined nineteen other members of Iowa Private Academic Libraries (IPAL) to submit a grant proposal through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. The IPAL consortium proposal was fully funded at $254,650.


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