DENVER, CO – March 6, 2023: The Colorado Commission on Higher Education approved 25 proposals totaling $960,000 for open educational resources (OER) projects that will produce high-quality teaching and learning materials at no cost to Colorado students.
“Colorado is making progress in our work to reduce the costs of college and save students money. Colorado students have already saved more than $20.5 million on textbook costs since the program began, but textbooks still cost far too much and we need to do more,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “We look forward to helping students save even more money with this new support for open source free textbooks.”
The OER grant program is in its fifth year with 35 public institutions of higher education across Colorado previously receiving grants. To date, grantees have collaborated to save Colorado students more than $20 million on textbook costs by creating, adapting, and adopting open resources at campuses across the state. To learn more about the program, including impacts and reach of the grants, read the 2022 OER Report Colorado Rises: Transforming Education Practices through Open Educational Resources.
The OER Grant program projects range from comprehensive institutional efforts to individual course material redesigns that aim to target high textbook cost courses and/or reinvigorate approaches to teaching and learning at campuses across the state. View the list of awards.
“We are thrilled to be able to grant nearly $1 million to our colleges and universities as they support our students with educational materials including course plans, modules, and even textbooks—at no cost,” said Dr. Angie Paccione, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. “These resources are leveraging OER to foster innovation, reduce costs and boost student success.”
In conjunction with CDHE, the OER Council hosts events and other professional development opportunities to help others learn about the open education movement in Colorado. During Open Education Week 2023 from March 6-10, campuses across Colorado will put on interactive webinars, trainings, award faculty using OER, and more.
CDHE will host its annual statewide OER conference in Denver on May 19. This conference features national and local experts exploring topics in the open education movement at various levels. The conference provides instructors, librarians, and administrators with professional development to advance open education across the state. To get involved with the 2023 OER Conference, RSVP or submit a session proposal.
Championed by the Colorado General Assembly’s Joint Budget Committee in 2018, H.B. 18-1331 established the grant program and charged Colorado’s OER Council with advising the Department on aspects of the initiative. The grant program was expanded for five additional years with S.B. 21-215. The 2023-24 Colorado OER Grant request for proposals will open in October 2023.
About the Colorado OER Council
The OER Council is a nationally-recognized advisory group created by statute that lends expert opinion in the areas of academics, library sciences and other aspects integral to open education development. The council works closely in an advisory capacity to CDHE staff.