ATLANTA — The Georgia State University Foundation Board of Trustees has awarded $20,000 to the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies’ AYS Open initiative. It will save Georgia State students an estimated $1 million or more on learning materials before 2026, according to Professor Scott Jacques, who heads the initiative.
“Based on our prior experience with AYS Open, we are confident this award will save students, as a group, $1 million or more, generating a 50-times return on the trustees’ financial investment,” Jacques said. “It also will help our students realize greater academic achievement by relieving some financial stress, strengthening Georgia State’s reputation as a leader in student success.”
AYS Open, one of three strategic priorities in the college’s Digital Landscape Initiative, increases the use and quality of free information and knowledge in coursework by making certain materials, like articles and data, open access (i.e., digital, online, free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions), while using more open-access or otherwise free resources in research, teaching and service. For example, AYS Open Access promotes the use of open statistical software programs over expensive alternatives.
The grant will enable Jacques and Andrew Wheeler, a data scientist and affiliated faculty with the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, to automate a proven, manual process for making expensive materials, like textbooks and other ancillaries, no-cost for students within the college in 2024. They will publish this software under the Georgia State University brand and with an open-source license, thereby expanding its impact nationally and globally.
In the second year, Jacques and Ellen Ballard, a clinical instructor of criminal justice and criminology and the department’s coordinator for no-cost, standardized courses, will use the new automation software to transform learning materials from expensive to no-cost efficiently and effectively across the university.
“We first used this process by working with the University Library to purchase unlimited e-versions of already-assigned materials in fall semester 2019 and immediately saved students $130,000, which multiplied every semester thereafter,” Jacques said.
“We are committed to developing and scaling this innovative, evidence-based student support, and grateful to the trustees for the grant which will allow us do so.”
For more information, contact Amanda Puche at [email protected]. Explore how donor dollars are making a difference at Georgia State and donate to the AYS Open initiative through the Course Materials Acquisition Fund at giving.gsu.edu.
Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology
Scott Jacques is director of Criminology Open. His areas of interest are prevention, choice and opportunity, qualitative and mixed-methods and offender-based research. The author or co-author of three books, he founded CrimRxiv, the field's open access repository and hub, and now serves as its associate director for sustainability. He has edited the journal, The International Criminal Justice Review, and is editor of The Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology.