Making College a Little More Affordable – Rob Milne

College is already expensive – what if students could access some of their required instructional materials online for free?

Over the years, chemistry instructor Rob Milne has watched his students struggle to pay for all the materials needed for classes and recently decided he could do something to help.

After receiving a Sheridan College Foundation Faculty Staff Grant to finance this project, Milne began poring over the current lab manual (cost $229 new), the Journal of Chemical Education and other scientific publications and proceeded to write streamlined online lab manuals for both semesters of his Organic Chemistry lab class.

Milne explained “I will upload the manuals to the OpenSource repository as a resource for others to use, which will allow all students free or low-cost access. I also plan on enriching the lab manuals with a series of hyperlinks to short video clips.”

Making the manuals Open Source allows users to modify the manuals as new information or techniques become available, unlike published textbooks which become obsolete and can’t be updated until the next edition is published.

Thanks to the generous donors who fund Sheridan College Foundation Faculty Staff Grants, Milne was able to take the time to create educational materials that would provide challenging lab problems and engage his students in a low cost, modifiable format that all students can use for years to come.

Jen Crouse, the Sheridan College VP of Student Affairs said “Rob Milne is such a great example of our faculty going above and beyond to help our students succeed. We are so fortunate to have someone who is as passionate and dedicated as Rob Milne is to his craft and to his students!”

Rob Milne earned both his PhD in Chemical Education and MA degrees in Chemistry at the University of Northern Colorado. He has taught chemistry at Sheridan College for more than 20 years. He also mentors undergraduate research and has a passion for science outreach to the community.