Open Educational Resources in Colorado

Colorado is leading the way in Open Educational Resources (OER) adoption, which has been shown to foster innovation, reduce costs and boost student success.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely available online teaching and learning materials accessible to students, instructors and self-learners. Contained in digital media collections from around the world, including full courses, lectures, quizzes, classroom activities, pedagogical materials and many other assets. 

OER Grant Program

The Colorado OER Grant Program launched in 2018 with three years of funding from H.B. 18-1331, and then the program was expanded an additional five years through S.B. 21-215. The program The OER adopted, adapted, or created in the first three cycles of the grant program have saved Colorado students an estimated $20.5 million in textbook costs. 

Learn more about the impact of the Colorado OER Grant Program in the Colorado Rises: Transforming Education Practices through Open Educational Resources 2022 Report.

The 2022-2023 Colorado Open Educational Resource RFP closed on December 19, 2022. The next request for proposals will open in Fall 2023. Please with any questions regarding the OER grant program.

Cohort 5 Grantees
The Colorado Department of Higher Education awarded its fifth round of grant awards. Awards totaling $960,018 were approved by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education on March 3, 2023. View the latest list of OER Grantees here or below.
Funding  Grant Level
$10,000 Small Aims Community College
$53,830 Institutional
Aims Community College
$67,748 Institutional Arapahoe Community College
$67,572 Institutional Colorado Community College System
$67,316 Institutional Colorado Mesa University
$34,000 Institutional Colorado Northwestern Community College
$54,000 Institutional Colorado School of Mines
$67,748 Institutional Colorado State University
$38,727 Institutional Colorado State University Pueblo
$17,420 Institutional
Community College of Denver
$20,000 Institutional
Fort Lewis College
$20,000 Institutional Front Range Community College
$50,000 Collaborative GradCo
$8,054 Small Metro State University of Denver
$67,748 Institutional Metro State University of Denver
$25,900 Institutional
Northeastern Junior College
$24,500 Institutional Pikes Peak State College
$26,500 Institutional Pueblo Community College
$43,133 Institutional Red Rocks Community College
$3,500 Small University of Colorado Boulder
$12,000 Institutional University of Colorado Denver / ThinqStudio
$54,125 Institutional University of Colorado Denver / Mathematics
$67,500 Institutional University of Colorado System
$47,897 Institutional University of Northern Colorado
$10,800 Institutional Western Colorado University
Previous OER Grantees

2021-22 Grantee Cohort #4

The Colorado Department of Higher Education awarded its fourth round of grant awards. Awards totaling $968,803 were approved by the CCHE in March of 2022. See the latest list of OER Grantees here. The 2023 Report will be available October 2023.

2020-21 Grantee Cohort #3

The Colorado Department of Higher Education awarded its third round of grant awards. Awards totaling $875,000 were approved by the CCHE in March of 2021. See the latest list of OER Grantees here. Read more in the 2022 Report.

2019-20 Grantee Cohort #2

$1 million was awarded for 35 different Open Education grantees, from individual faculty initiatives to institutional and inter-institutional projects. Review the OER Grantee Award List for our second cohort of grantees, who were approved by the CCHE in February 2020. Read more in the 2021 Report.

2018-19 Cohort #1

The Colorado Department of Higher Education awarded nearly $550,000 to power 20 groundbreaking OER Grantees that reflect the diversity of OER innovation. Read about the first cohort of grantees in the 2019 Report and 2020 Report.


2023 Colorado OER Conference

The 2023 Colorado OER Conference will be held on Friday, May 19 at History Colorado in Denver. A limited registration pre-conference will be held on Thursday, May 18 and will be announced in April. Free registration for the conference will open on March 6.

This year’s conference theme is “Going beyond cost savings." At the 2023 conference we will explore the impact of OER beyond cost savings. 

Register for the 2023 OER Conference

Call for Proposals

The Colorado OER Conference Organizing Committee invites proposals with a focus on the following areas:

  • Open pedagogy
  • Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility through OER
  • Student Advocacy of Open education
  • Sustainability of Open education
  • Case study of Colorado OER grants
  • OER community building and engagement
  • Advancing student learning and involvement
  • Institutional or system wide OER promotion

Proposals are due by 11:59 PM Mountain time on Monday, March 13, 2023

Submit a session proposal

Conference Information

Registration for the conference is free.

Conference information that covers the pre-conference, schedule, parking and hotel recommendations, etc. will be released in April 2023.


2022-23 Colorado Open Education Resources Council 

In the 2017 session, the Colorado legislature passed and the Governor signed Senate Bill 17-258, which creates the Open Educational Resources Council. This statewide body is charged to develop a plan for resources to benefit college and K-12 students throughout Colorado.

OER Councilmembers
Name Institution
Jaimie Henthorn, Chair University of Colorado System
Jen Mayer, Vice Chair University of Northern Colorado
Katherine Brown Colorado State University Pueblo
Sam Collier Student Representative, CU Boulder
Mitch Cota Arapahoe Community College
Jonathan Dyhr MSU Denver
Sherry Jones Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
Michael Levine-Clark University of Denver
Mark Manzanares Adams State University
Nicolas Pares Front Range Community College
Leslie Reynolds University of Colorado Boulder
Nicholas Swails Colorado Northwestern Community College
Jacqueline Tomrdle Pikes Peak State College
Youngmin Kim Colorado Mesa University
State Designees    
Charissa Brammer Colorado State Library
Renee Martinez Colorado Department of Education
Chealsye Bowley Colorado Department of Higher Education
2022-23 OER Council Meeting Schedule

OER Council meetings are held on the second Friday of the month from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM on Zoom. Council meetings are open to the public and can be joined with the following link:

The agenda and notes from the August 2022 to June 2023 OER Council meetings are available here. The OER Council does not meet in July.

2023 Open Education Week

Open Education Week is a global celebration from the open education community. During March 6-10, 2023 Colorado campuses will host events, webinars, trainings, awards, and other initiatives to advance open education and recognize OER's positive impact on teaching and learning.

If you're a Colorado campus and would like to include your event, please email

Open Education Week Events in Colorado

Colorado State University Pueblo 
Tuesday, March 7 | 4:00 PM
Serving our Students through OER presentation
+ online resources and a library display on OER throughout Open Education Week

Metro State University of Denver
Tuesday, March 7th | 10:00 – 11:30 AM | Auraria Library 116
Register [MSU / Auraria Campus Faculty and Instructors]
Open Textbook Review Workshop
Come prepared to share the ways you have used open textbooks and other open resources with colleagues! Auraria Librarians will also share about ways they can help you find OER.

University of Colorado Boulder
Wednesday, March 8 | 12:30 - 2:00 PM
Experiences Adopting, Adapting and Creating Open Educational Resources (OER): A Panel with CU Boulder Educators
Panel of CU Boulder open educators features Karen Crofton from the College of Engineering, Nicole Jobin from the Sewall Residential Academic Program, David Paradis from the History Department, Brooke Huibregtse Ketels from Psychology and Neuroscience, and Alex Saltzman from the Student Academic Success Center. The panelists will share their motivations for working with open educational resources (OER), their experiences integrating open educational resources in their teaching, and their recommendations for educators who are interested in exploring OER and open education.

University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Tuesday, March 7 | 3:00 - 4:00 PM
Join Angie Dodson, UCCS Faculty Development Coordinator, and Susan Vandagriff, UCCS Scholarly Communications Librarian & Assistant Professor, in the Open Textbook Initiative Development Session Part 1 online session being held on Tuesday, March 7, from 3:00-4:00 pm to identify potential proposal partners and subject-area gaps as these initial steps for preparing an application for this program.

University of Colorado System
Friday, March 10 PM
4th Annual CU System OER Champion Award
President Todd Saliman and VP of Academic Affairs Michael Lightner will be honoring an award recipient from each of the four campuses. Attendees will engage in a forum for dialogue on OER among all attendees.

University of Northern Colorado
More information
Join UNC OER experts to gain tips and advice about OER, explore OER textbooks, learn about funding opportunity and enjoy a free lunch and prizes. Event will be held daily during Open Education Week in the University Center Panorama Room: 
Monday, March 6 | 11:00 - 1:00
Tuesday, March 7 | 11:30 - 1:30
Wednesday, March 8 | 12:00 - 2:00
Thursday, March 9 | 11:30 - 1:30
Friday, March 10 | 1:00 - 3:00