MCLA established the Textbook Equity Advisory Committee (TEAC) in 2022. The committee is a university-wide advisory committee as defined in the MSCA Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article VII.M.
(a) research how the cost of course materials affects MCLA students
(b) document current strategies employed by faculty and departments to provide equitable access to course materials and their impact on students
(c) recommend additional measures that the college could pursue to ensure equitable access to course materials while respecting faculty rights and responsibilities
(d) as the Department of Higher Education begins to convey recommendations to campuses regarding textbook affordability and open educational resources (OER) initiatives, evaluate and plan for the implementation of said recommendations at the request of the President.
The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education OER Advisory Council recommends that campus advisory committees include faculty, students, and staff. The MSCA chapter president and SGA will be consulted regarding faculty and student membership. Staff nominees will be identified and contacted by the appropriate administrators.
The cost of textbooks is a hardship for many MCLA students. Newer distribution models (online access codes tied to individual students) prevent students from pursuing cost-saving strategies like buying used copies or borrowing a library copy. Working toward a future where every MCLA student has reliable, convenient access to required course materials on Day 1 of class, regardless of their financial situation, will create a more equitable college where students are better positioned to succeed.
As the state university enrolling the highest percentage of Pell-eligible students, MCLA is especially well positioned to model inclusive practices regarding course materials.
Faculty who adopt open educational resources (OER) in their teaching can adapt, enhance, and remix existing resources or engage students in the process of creating entirely new instructional resources that are, in turn, freely available and adaptable across higher education and beyond.