Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology

Open Educational Resources - AL$ & AB 798

Open Resource PathwaysThe CSU's Affordable Learning Solutions ("AL$") is supported by the Chancellor's Office grant initiatives and functions to reduce student cost for course materials. This initiative is designed to help make college more affordable by expanding faculty adoption of high-quality free or low-cost open education resources (OER) in place of commercial textbooks. OER includes open licensed textbooks and materials as well as web-based resources (texts, multimedia, interactive) that reside in the public domain. The initiative contributes to Cal Poly's efforts to improve graduation rates as well as to make the campus more inclusive by reducing the cost of earning a Cal Poly degree. 

Also see: CTLT: Affordable Learning Solutions and Kennedy Library: Affordable Course Materials.


The CSU's open educational materials grant initiative ("Affordable Learning Solutions" aka "AL$") has a core purpose to support faculty in reducing course materials’ expenses for students while maintaining course quality. This program contributes to Cal Poly’s efforts to make the campus more diverse, more equitable and more inclusive -- and more academically engaging by making a Cal Poly degree more affordable for students. It also contributes to Cal Poly’s Graduation Initiative 2025 by reducing barriers to student progress toward degree completion.

Please contact Patrick O'Sullivan with any questions about information on this page: posulliv@calpoly.edu

Interested in exploring OERs for your courses? Self-enroll in the OER Faculty Roadmap Canvas module.

Departmental OER Recognition Award

An  annual AL$ Departmental Recognition Award will be earned by the department with the highest number of sections in the departmental curriculum that (1) qualified to be designated “zero-cost course material” (ZCCM) and/or (2) used an open-source adopted textbook. The winning department will receive $4,000 from open education resources grants (Affordable Learning Solutions; AB798) to Cal Poly through the CSU Chancellor’s Office. 

Departmental OER Award Winners for AY 2020-21 | Faculty Showcase

Award Description for download

Award Application spreadsheet for download

OER Ambassador Program 

As an AL$ Ambassador you are eligible to receive stipends that can total up to $1,000 for completing a professional development project and then adopting OER or zero cost course materials for your courses.

Ambassador stipends will be awarded in two phases:

  1. A $500 stipend can be earned when you participate in a zoom-based session “Transforming Your Course with Open Educational Resources” with Anne Regan and complete the documentation.
  2. An additional $500 stipend will be awarded for adopting OER or zero cost course material in one or more of your courses. Details for this second phase will be provided during the training session.

In addition to the stipends, AL$ Ambassadors will also receive recognition at the end of the academic year and documentation for your WPAF.

Current OER Adopter Support

If you are already using open educational resources in your teaching, we would like to provide you with support and recognition as part of the AL$ Initiative. You are already contributing to an important campus goal of reducing the expenses (and thus the hurdles) for student success in earning a Cal Poly degree. Keeping track of the savings that you have created for your students through the Initiative will help you get appropriate recognition and add to Cal Poly's record of growing savings that assists Cal Poly with future funding.

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