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CSU’s Affordable Learning Solutions and Lumen Learning partner to expand choices for affordable, quality learning materials

Focused on general education curriculum, Lumen’s interactive OER courseware approved for use by California State University faculty and students

Portland, Ore. (July 17, 2019) – California State University’s (CSU) Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) has approved open education innovator Lumen Learning as a featured partner providing learning materials that can improve student outcomes and reduce the overall cost of education for CSU students. Through the CSU AL$ partnership, CSU instructors may discover and adopt Lumen’s award-winning digital courseware as a low-cost option to replace expensive textbooks in many general education courses

“Faculty in California, as in many other parts of the country, are looking for ways to reduce barriers to student success without sacrificing the quality of the learning experience for their students,” said Wendy Wright, Retail Management Program Manager at Cerritos College. “Lumen is a natural fit as a CSU AL$ partner because its courseware combines open educational resources with learning design that can help a broad spectrum of students. Our students tell us they enjoy learning with these course materials, and teachers feel students are retaining more and doing better as a result.”

CSU AL$ has been on the forefront of efforts to address textbook affordability since 2010, when it began spearheading efforts to expand selection of free and low cost learning materials. Lumen Learning was founded in 2012 with a focus on improving learning and student outcomes using open educational resources (OER). California institutions were among Lumen’s earliest institutional partners, working collaboratively to develop OER course materials that can reliably and effectively replace expensive textbooks. California institutions have also been instrumental helping Lumen understand how to provide great support for faculty using its courseware, including departmental adoptions with many sections and instructors. Today Lumen’s work with OER extends beyond instructional content to digital learning tools faculty and students use with OER to make the learning experience more effective. 

“Every term, learning data help us get smarter about where and how to make our course materials better at supporting learning, and we then collaborate with faculty to develop and apply improvements using open content,” said Kim Thanos, CEO of Lumen Learning. “We’re eager to bring this type of learning innovation to the CSU system, partnering with AL$ and its groundbreaking model for bringing down textbook costs while protecting faculty autonomy and educational quality.”

AL$ provides faculty and students with a wide variety of choices for free and low-cost course materials, emphasizing learning materials that demonstrate strong quality and integrity of content. A rigorous accessibility review is included in the partner review process, giving faculty members confidence AL$ partner solutions work well for those with differing abilities. In 2017-2018 alone, campus-based AL$ programs and bookstores together saved CSU students over $45 million. 

Lumen was an early mover designing digital courseware using open educational resources. Over the past year it has introduced a community-driven model for improving OER courseware by analyzing learning data to identify underperforming content and then collaborating with faculty to design, implement, and test continuous improvements focused on increasing learning. 

In addition to CSU AL$, Lumen Learning partners with many other institutions on systemic approaches to improving student success using OER courseware, including the State University of New York (SUNY), the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), the University System of Maryland (USM), and the University of Mississippi, among others. 


About Lumen Learning 

Lumen Learning uses open educational resources (OER) to provide affordable course materials that improve learning and replace expensive textbooks in high-enrollment college courses. Adding timely updates, learning design, and technical support to OER, Lumen makes the transition to open content simple, reliable, and effective for instructors and students. 

Lumen OER courseware includes Waymaker personalized learning course materials, OHM online homework system for math and other quantitative subjects. Over 200 colleges and universities across the U.S. use Lumen-supported digital courseware for in-person, online, and blended courses. Materials created by Lumen are published under Creative Commons Attribution licenses and contributed back to the education community. Learn more at, and visit our course catalog at

©2019 This announcement is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license 

Media Contacts

Julie Curtis, VP Strategy & Communication

Lumen Learning

+1.503.840.5569 |