Success Stories

Lumen clients are breaking new ground in open education.

Read on to learn how institutions are using open educational resources (OER) to impact affordability, access and student success.

Salt Lake Community College

Math Students Score Higher Using OER

In an ongoing quest to provide students with better, cheaper course materials that enhance the learning experience, Salt Lake Community College piloted using open materials for math education with Lumen-supported MyOpenMath. A modest $5 course materials fee for OER-based courses replaced the $200+ per student cost of commercial textbooks.

The difference was striking: 67% more A students, higher passing rates and fewer withdrawals. Students engaged earlier and more deeply in the learning process. Together the 257 students in the pilot program saved more than $48,000. SLCC is now expanding its OER footprint with continuing support from Lumen Learning.

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Tidewater Community College

A Zero Textbook Cost Degree Program

In 2013, Tidewater Community College, located in coastal Virginia, became the first accredited institution in the U.S. to offer a degree in which students pay nothing for required textbooks. Dubbed the “Z-Degree” (for zero textbook cost) and developed with courseware and support from Lumen Learning, the first-of-its-kind program awards an associate of science degree in business administration. Preliminary data show fewer students withdraw from the program’s Z courses before the drop deadline, translating into more successful students and tuition revenue.

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Mercy College

“Free and Better” Open Educational Resources Boost Math Student Achievement

Taking aim at persistent problems with first-year student achievement, New York’s Mercy College piloted an OER-based College Algebra course to see if OER could offer a free and better alternative to boost student learning. Results were so promising that all sections shifted to OER the following semester, supported by Lumen Learning. Textbook cost savings amount to more than $125,000 per year. Over three semesters, passing rates (with a C or better) rose from 48% to 69%.

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