Four LSU librarians have been selected by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network to join a cohort of 25 librarians from across the state to work alongside instructional designers in order to foster the creation of the Interactive Open Education Resources (OER) for Dual Enrollment program, which will aim to improve the quality of the dual-enrollment program and expand its availability for more high school students. This program was made viable by a two-million-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Open Textbooks Pilot program.
The the LSU librarians, David Dunaway, Marty Miller, Sarah Simms, and Hayley Johnson, will each work on one of the 25 dual-enrollment general education courses. Johnson and Simms work on the Introduction to American Government and World Civilization II courses, respectively.
“Being a part of this project is a great opportunity for me to take a more active role in the OER movement. As a government information librarian, I support and manage a collection that is founded on the very idea of free open access to everyone, and this project affords the opportunity to expand that idea of free open access beyond my own collection and into the classroom to support students,” said Johnson.
According to the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP), about half a million high school students enrolled in over two million college courses for the 2010-2011 school year.
Furthermore, according to John Fink, senior research associate at the Community College Research Center, a whopping 88% of students that participated in dual-enrollment programs went on to attend college. However, some groups have shown to be underrepresented in the dual-enrollment sphere, mostly due to eligibility and economical requirements. Black students only accounted for 9% of high school students dual-enrolled and Latinx students accounted for 17%.
LOUIS and the Interactive OER for Dual Enrollment program’s goal is to eliminate textbook costs for these courses and provide a more equitable educational atmosphere for all students regardless of the economic hardship or location.
“I think some of the lasting results will include increased student participation in dual-enrollment programs around the state as well as more promotion of the use of open education resources and open access materials in the classroom,” said Simms.
The Open Textbook Pilot program was established in October 2018 through the Fund for the Improvement for Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) program and focuses on improving the accessibility and reducing the economic burden of textbooks for students of higher education.
LOUIS is an association of librarians from private and public colleges and universities from Louisiana that focuses on mitigating the costs of educational resources and increasing equity across all the higher education institutions in the state.