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CALM for students

Have you ever decided not to take a course you really wanted because the textbooks were too expensive?graph indicating a 1500% increase in textbooks over time

40% of CSUSM students have!1

Have you ever tried to make it through a class without the required textbook, because you just couldn't afford it?

You're not alone! 62% of the CSUSM students completing our survey have, though over 50% felt it hurt their grades.1

Some Helpful Resources

Find the Cheapest Textbooks

Learn strategies for reading etexts efficiently and effectively 

ereaders and other technologies to help you get the most out of your digital texts.

Mendeley, a free tool for annotating PDFs - instructions on where and how to download, saving PDFs to Mendeley, and tools for highlighting, notes, etc.

Using Proquest ebrary digital texts from the Kellogg Library  collection - includes instructions on setting up an account, downloading for offline reading, printing and markup tools

What is CALM?

The Cougars Affordable Learning Materials (CALM) program aims to encourage and assist faculty in locating and adopting free or open education resources to replace their costly textbooks. 

Our Goal...


As of spring 2017,  72 faculty have participated in the CALM program, adopting lower-cost textbooks or free/open education resources in 79 courses and saving students an estimated $2,389,000.

But we could use your help!

Students all over the nation are speaking out about the cost of college textbooks and how it impacts their success.  #TextbookBroke is a national campaign aimed at informing students about alternatives to traditional textbooks, and empowring students to speak up.  In fall 2016, your student government passed a resolution in support of California State Assembly Bill AB 798 and CALM. CSUSM faculty need to hear your voice. If you'd like to get involved in this effort, the National Student Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) has created a campus textbooks Campaign Toolkit, with strategies, tactics and sample materials. Have an idea for spreading awareness and ensuring that the student voice is heard at CSUSM?   Contact us at 

1.  CSUSM Student Textbook Affordability Survey, 2014.  Contact us for more details.