HBCU Affordable Learning Solutions Community Portal

Responding to COVID19: Help to Move Online:

MERLOT and SkillsCommons have organized a collection of resources, tools, tutorials, guidelines, and other FREE services from organizations and commercial companies for you to use immediately and for FREE.

Graphic representing 5 steps in ALS planning and implementation. Tools and Templates, Training and EVents, Connect and Network, Research, and HBCU ALS community.




MERLOT and the HBCU AL$ Leadership Community has developed and organized a full range of support services to help you plan and implement your own effective AL$ program. The diagram below provides you the 5 key elements of our support services. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, through the support of their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness Program, has supported us organizing these services for you.

Training, Professional Development, and Events:

The HBCU Leadership Community has been providing a number of opportunities for HBCU faculty, staff, and administrators to learn more about how they can plan and implement their AL$ program successfully.

Looking for an overview of AL$?  Executive Director Gerry Hanley provide an introduction to AL$ to the University of Maryland System (45 minute video)

Looking to meet up with your colleagues at conferences about AL$?   The HBCU AL$ Steering Committee organizes events and summits at conferences so campus faculty and staff and personally share and learn from one another in a collegial, professional development environment.


  • March 15, 2021: The 5th annual HBCU AL$ summit – a full day pre-conference workshop where we'll be showcasing exemplary Affordable Learning Solutions practices and results from HBCUs.

Explore PAST HBCU AL$ Summits with their extensive collection of professional development resources:

Explore PAST HBCU AL$ regional and campus professional development events

Research on AL$ within HBCUs

The HBCU Leadership Committee is investigating the following questions through surveys and interviews.    Would you like to participate?   Contact us!

  • How ready is HBCU leadership to adopt AL$ as a strategic priority at their institution?  AL$ will have to compete with a wide range of traditional strategic priorities and will campus leadership take the actions to support and sustain their local AL$ program?
  • How ready are HBCU faculty to adopt OER for their course materials? Will faculty at HBCUs readily adopt OER because they have already been discovering and adopting alternative course content for their courses due to the cultural, ethnic, and racial biases that exist in many of the major publishers' resources?  What are the conditions under which it is easier or harder for faculty to participate in an AL$ program and are there institutional incentives and support that can be effective?
  • How ready are HBCU faculty to share the OER that they created as course curriculum in order to provide a more diverse and inclusive education?  Adopting OER  is important but to grow an inclusive curriculum that serves a diverse community of learners successfully, the creators of educational content – the faculty – must be willing and able to share their authored content by adding Creative Commons licenses to their materials AND cataloging the content in an open library.
  • How ready are HBCU students to adopt and effectively learn from OER course materials?  Are there critical problems with student access to digital content?  How divisive is the digital divide?  What is the impact of textbook affordability on HBCU students?   Over 44% of students surveyed in Florida indicated that they took fewer course units per semester due to the cost of textbooks.   Is the impact comparable with HBCU students. 


ADD Free and Open Educational Resources You're Using or Created into MERLOT

Are you using OER in your teaching or your learning? Have you created free and open teaching materials? We invite you to catalog these resources in MERLOT. Your colleagues and students around the world will thank you!


First: Become a member of MERLOT (It will take about 2 minutes and it is FREE).

Second: Fill out the online form to contribute a Material. (It will take about 4 minutes the first time.  MERLOT provides systematic instructions on our YouTube Channel and a handout (PDF).


Enter key words below to search the SkillsCommons library for Free Workforce Development OER



Enter key words below to search the MERLOT library, over 75 other open libraries, and more!

Enter the ISBN of a book below to find related FREE eTextbooks and more.