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CSU Affordability Advocates

A guide to highlight the amazing course material affordability champions on our campus.

Affordability Advocate

Emilie Zickel and Melanie Gagich

Melanie Gagich and 

Emilie Zickel

Associate and Assistant College Lecturer

English Department, First Year Writing Program

2019 Textbook Hero Award Winners

Course: ENG 100, 101, and 102 - First Year Writing

OER created/used:  


Annual student savings: $126,000


Dr. Gagich’s Impressions:

Why did you decide to apply for the Textbook Affordability Grant? 

I first decided to apply for the Textbook Affordability Grant because I wanted students to have access to a free, digital book that provided course-specific and up-to-date content. It was my belief that such a book would further engage students in my class and promote inclusivity.
How did the project process go? 

The process was easy and the amount of support was excellent. In fact, based on the support we received during the initial process of creating our own individual open access books, Emilie Zickel and I recruited six part-time instructors to help us create another open access textbook, which one that was adopted by the First-Year Writing Program in fall 2018. 

What were the results of your project on student engagement and academic achievement? 

I collected 398 responses to a survey distributed to all First-Year Writing students in fall 2019 and found that the majority of students reported feeling that the book contained up-to-date content, helped them write papers, and promoted their learning in ENG 100, 101, and 102.