Press Release
Posted March 11, 2022

It’s Women’s History Month and LCCC is celebrating two faculty members making a difference in reducing the cost of education for students.

Two Lorain County Community College faculty members – Karin Hooks, Ph.D., and Michelle Yuhasz – will each receive a small grant from OhioLINK to learn how to teach with no-cost open resource course materials for students, helping students save even more money on the cost of their college education.

Karin Hooks, Ph.D., and Michelle Yuhasz

Hooks and Yuhasz are two of 29 faculty members from 15 colleges and universities across the state of Ohio who will receive grants from the OhioLink Affordable Learning Open Course Redesign Grants program. It is a pilot program funded by the Ohio Technology Consortium (OH-TECH) and the Midwest Higher Education Compact (MHEC). It is intended to help faculty learn more about no-cost content while also assisting them with redesigning their syllabi.

OhioLINK estimates that more than 4,000 students in Ohio could save as much as $300,000 per year as a result of instructors switching to Open Educational Resources (OER) or library materials to teach their classes. Open Educational Resources are high-quality materials that do not cost anything for students to use.

LCCC adopted the use of OERs and support for faculty developing OER materials as the first priority among various textbook cost control practices.

Since adopting OER practices 48 LCCC courses use the OER format, saving over 9,500 LCCC students more than $976,000. “Using OERs are a valuable way to reduce the cost of a college education for students,” said Jonathan Dryden, Ph.D., LCCC Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and University Partnership. “OERs also offer our faculty the flexibility to design assignments and course content that is more relevant and engaging for students. This grant provides much needed support for our faculty who wish to adopt OERs in their courses and will allow us to expand the use of OERs even further.”

The cost of textbooks has a direct impact on attending college, noted OhioLINK Executive Director Amy Pawlowski. “Our OhioLINK Course Redesign Grants acknowledge that faculty may need extra support to make use of viable no-cost teaching materials in order to help students save money,” Pawloski said.

Yuhasz, an associate professor and clinical coordinator of LCCC’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, will use the grant to redesign a Health and Wellness course along with one of the gateway courses for all of LCCC’s health sciences degrees – Medical Terminology.

“The medical terminology course is taught every semester for college credit impacting almost 1,500 students a year,” Yuhasz said. “The savings for students would be significant if we can redesign the course material.”

According to Hooks, an associate professor of English, OERs have benefits for both students and faculty.

“Developing OERs is a great way to provide free textbooks and other reading materials for students. They also give instructors greater flexibility in teaching assignments and encourage innovative teaching practices,” Hooks said.

Hooks will use the grant to initially develop no-cost teaching materials for the course African-American Literature and will eventually take what she learns to do the same for other English and humanities courses she teaches.

“Our goal is to foster student success and make college more affordable for LCCC students,” Hooks said.

Both Hooks and Yuhasz will participate in a three-week training course on OERs and get a personalized review of their course syllabus to identify OER and library resources that meet their learning objectives.

After completing the OER training course, instructors will be able to use at least one open-licensed or library licensed resource as early as fall semester 2022. They also could choose to create and use open- licensed ancillary materials, such as quiz questions, PowerPoint slides, and other materials for use in the 2023 academic year.

About OhioLINK
Established in 1992, the Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK) is Ohio’s statewide academic library consortium. OhioLINK provides shared digital resources that support research, teaching, and learning through 117 libraries at 88 institutions of higher education and the State Library of Ohio. In addition, OhioLINK manages collaborative efforts aimed at reducing the cost of higher education for students.
OhioLINK is a member of the Ohio Technology Consortium (OH-TECH) within the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Learn more at OhioLINK.edu.