Open Education Leadership Program 2020-2021

Nicole Arnold

Open Education Leadership Fellow

Nicole Arnold works as the Student Success Librarian at the University of California, Irvine. She never imagined that she would be a librarian someday. After completing her BA, MA, and Teaching Credential at Cal State Fullerton, she opted to teach high school history during the day while bartending in the evenings. Although she knew that teaching while also bartending would eventually become unsustainable, she had a hard time accepting that she would have to leave the classroom behind. When an old friend from her MA program told her that she should check out being a librarian because librarians get to teach while not grading, she was pleasantly surprised! And just like that, a new career was born. After graduating from the University of Washington, Seattle with her MLIS, she accepted a position at UCI. As the Student Success Librarian, she serves traditionally under-represented and under-supported students, like former foster youth, Dreamers/Undocumented, student parents, and Summer Bridge cohorts. The work with these students has shown her that textbook costs are out of control, leaving her students especially vulnerable. She hopes that learning more about Open Education will help her find a way to get resources into the hands of students who truly need them the most.

Nicole opted to create a capstone project focusing on textbook affordability and with an introductory piece on OER. This project was aptly named “Textbook Affordability and OER Workshop for Instructors and Faculty.” The steps of the project consist of setting a date for the workshop, connecting with Digital Scholarship Services, creating the workshop slide deck, promoting the workshop with the help of the Communication and Events Department, holding the workshop during Open Access Week, then following up to see how impactful the workshop was. She believes that this workshop will be among the first steps to bringing the campus around to OER initiatives while also showing faculty that there are immediate moves they can make to create a more equitable and affordable course material list.  

Nicole Arnold was born and raised in Orange County, California where she enjoys the sunshine, beaches, trail runs with her dog, olympic weightlifting, and eating ice cream.

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