Starting fall 2013, the University System of Maryland (USM) Student Council will run a pilot program which will allow interested faculty in high-enrollment, entry-level classes to use open access textbooks and resources. The goal of the student-driven initiative is to help students with the rising cost of expensive textbooks by encouraging professors to create custom textbooks from free online resources, videos, and graphics. Faculty members that are interested in the pilot will be able to attend guided workshops to learn about the features of open access textbooks.

In spring 2014, the student council and other representatives from USM will analyze the effectiveness of the pilot by examining student satisfaction, academic achievement, and faculty willingness to use the resources. The student council plans to meet with legislators by the end of this year to finalize details of the program. Depending on the success of the pilot program, students in USM may see a state-supported open access textbook initiative by 2015.

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