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Affordable Course Content Awards

Overview of the VCU Affordable Course Content Awards

Affordable Course Content Awards Overview

The high cost of textbooks has been shown to have an adverse effect on students’ academic experiences, impacting their decisions of which classes to take and their ability to succeed in those classes. Access to free course materials removes this financial barrier to access, increasing the possibility that students can succeed in their academic careers. 

The Affordable Course Content Awards (ACCA) support faculty in providing no-cost course materials to their students by providing funding, hands-on project support, and providing faculty development on the open publishing process and open educational practices.

The Affordable Course Content Awards program is made possible in part by The Barbara Ford Endowment of the 21st Century Fund and The Friends of VCU Libraries

Project Types

Projects typically fall into one of three categories:

  • Adopt: Redesigning your course to incorporate open or free educational resources, with little to no editorial changes made to the resource.
  • Customize: Modifying an existing open resource, combining multiple open resources, or creating ancillaries for an existing resource.
  • Create: Creating a new openly licensed resource.

Resources can include textbooks, but also any other materials used for teaching such as videos, slide decks, podcasts, or other supplementary materials.

Project Support

In addition to grant funding, project support is available to awardees, including:

  • Assistance in locating existing open materials for adoption/customization
  • Assistance identifying additional project support freelancers
  • Access to Pressbooks publishing platform
  • Hosting and long-term preservation of final products in Scholars Compass
  • DOI assignment
  • Consultations on publishing workflows and best practices, copyright and open licensing, metadata creation, upkeep and maintenance of materials, and how to share resources to wider community


All faculty, including tenure, term, and adjunct, are eligible for awards. Project teams are also eligible, and highly encouraged for larger projects. Teams can include main authors/editors, reviewers (both student and faculty), consultants/subject matter experts for specific projects, and other roles as needed to support the adoption/creation and implementation of the resource. Only one application per faculty member or team will be considered.

Faculty who were previously awarded an Affordable Course Content Award are welcome to apply for the growth, maintenance, or expanded adoption of their resource. Faculty who were previously awarded an Affordable Course Content Award are welcome to submit applications for a new project, as long as the initial project has been closed out with the OER Librarian.