Alternative Textbook Program

The Alternative Textbook Program is an initiative for faculty who are interested in replacing traditional textbooks with open textbooks, library subscription materials, or other free materials. Faculty who participate in the program receive a stipend to support the transition to free course materials.

Program Guidelines

Academic Library Services is seeking applications from ECU faculty to participate in the 2023-2024 Alternative Textbook Program. Ten awards of up to $1,000 each will be awarded.

Proposals will be accepted until March 13, 2023. Awarded faculty will be notified by March 25, 2023 so that they will have ample time to select or create alternative course materials and integrate them into their syllabi for the 2023-2024 academic year. Faculty will be partnered with personal librarians during this period to assist with identifying potential course materials and answering copyright questions. Additionally, summer workshops on topics like open educational resources, Creative Commons licenses, and building inclusive materials will be offered for participants.

Applicants who have participated in previous years are welcome to submit applications for other courses.

Faculty may select one of two options for this year’s program.

Option 1

The traditional Alternative Textbook Program, where faculty switch from a commercial textbook to course materials that are free for students. These materials may include open textbooks, library subscription materials, open educational resources, and other free materials. Extra weight may be given to classes with 100 students or more, general education courses, or online courses.

Example projects may include:

  • Switching to an available open textbook
  • Identifying and using multiple resources in place of a commercial textbook like articles from the library’s collections, open educational resources, or government resources
  • Adapting an available open textbook or other open educational resource to better align with your course
  • Creating a new open textbook

Option 2

This option encourages faculty to increase representation and localization within course materials by creating supplemental materials and/or assignments to accompany their current materials. These supplemental materials should focus on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within course materials. Alternatively, faculty can focus on localizing course materials to North Carolina, eastern North Carolina, or the ECU community. For this option, materials must be openly licensed under an appropriate Creative Commons license to support use by other faculty and instructors, especially by those at ECU or in eastern North Carolina. Created materials must be free for students.

Example projects may include:

  • Developing more inclusive case studies
  • Creating additional course materials to include diverse voices
  • Incorporating data, images, or other items that are local to North Carolina, eastern North Carolina, or ECU into course materials or assignments


All faculty members teaching during the 2023-2024 academic year are eligible to apply. Courses can be undergraduate or graduate classes. Additionally, they can be in person or online courses.

Selection Criteria

The award committee will evaluate proposals using the following criteria:

  • A completed application which includes a short narrative describing your project goals, student outcomes, and interest in using alternative texts.
  • Potential student impact. This may include estimated cost-savings for students or potential for increased student learning as a result of inclusive or localized materials.
  • Planned adoption of course materials by the start of the course.

Program Details

  • Funds will be transferred directly to departments via a Banner Budget Transfer. Monies may be used for supplies, student wages, professional development, or other materials. Funds must be used by June 30, 2024.
  • New materials that are written due to this program should be deposited in an appropriate repository, like OER Commons or ECU’s institutional repository, and must include a Creative Commons license.
  • Faculty must provide a list of selected materials used in the course or an updated syllabus by the end of the 2023-2024 academic year.
  • Faculty are asked to complete a short assessment at the end of the 2023-2024 academic year.


Proposals are due by March 13, 2023.

For more information about the program, please contact the Scholarly Communication Department at

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