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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. OER textbooks and other learning resources are openly licensed, typically under a Creative Commons License, with the ability for instructors and students to freely retain copies, re-use, revise, remix and share. OER are free, no-cost materials. OER offers provides materials the first day of class, access into the future after the course ends, and the most affordable cost for students of $0.


OER Grant Program

The Colorado OER Grant Program funds the adoption and development of open educational resources at institutions across the state. The 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 OER adopted, adapted, or created in the first four cycles of the grant program has saved Colorado students an estimated $31.5 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 2023 Report.

The seventh cycle of grant funding that will award $1 million in OER grant projects in 2024. The next OER grant program proposals are due Monday, September 16. The Request for Proposals was released in April 2024. Please contact with any questions.


Annual Colorado OER Conference

The 2024 Colorado OER Conference was held on Friday, May 17 at the Auraria Campus in Denver. At the 2025 conference date will be announced in Fall 2025. Join the Colorado OER Community newsletter to stay updated!

Cohort 6 Grantees

Awards totaling $1,000,000 for the sixth year of OER grant awards were approved by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education on March 1, 2024. Nearly half of the funding was awarded to grant projects that will develop zero textbook cost "z-degrees." View the latest list of OER Grantees or see awarded projects by grant type below.

Z-degree OER Grants 2024/25

Project Title



Making it Stick II: Building on CNCC’s OER Adoption Efforts to Enhance OER Utilization, Longevity, and complete AA degreeColorado Northwestern Community College$74,000
Open Roadrunners Year 6: Transformative Educational Advancements through Open Educational Resources and Zero Textbook Cost DegreesMetropolitan State University$100,000
Peak Learning: Elevating MBA Education through Open Educational Resources (OERs)Western Colorado University$28,000
Early Childhood Education Zero Textbook Cost ProjectArapahoe Community College$18,957
Generation and Expansion of OER Major Coursework Z-Degree, Business for Creative Industries, BAS Degree ProgramFront Range Community College$31,500
Aims CC OER 6 Major Coursework Z-DegreeAims Community College$13,320
Mathematics and Data Science Z-degrees at CU DenverUniversity of Colorado Denver$68,671
Staging Success: A ZTC degree pathway for RRCC Theatre StudiesRed Rocks Community College$45,000
OER Textbook Adoption for a More Inclusive Business Law ProgramWestern Colorado University$9,000
Lowering Textbook Costs for Undergraduate Nursing Students: A Collaborative Project between the University of Colorado College of Nursing and Fort Lewis CollegeUniversity of Colorado Anschutz, Fort Lewis College$100,000


Collaborative OER Grants 2024/25

Project Title



Collaborative OER Mathematics TextbooksUniversity of Northern Colorado, Fort Lewis College, Metro State University$51,916
Development of the Colorado OER Anatomy HubUniversity of Colorado Anschutz / Collaborators: University of Colorado Colorado Springs, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver, Colorado College, Colorado State University, Aurora Science and Tech High School$65,410
Colorado Community College System OER Course Development Mini GrantsColorado Community College System$45,563


Small Group OER Grant 2024/25

Project Title


OER Expansion in Nursing Curricula at Arapahoe Community CollegeArapahoe Community College$13,220


General Incentive OER Grants 2024/25

Project Title



Cultivating Open Education: Sustaining Momentum for OER/ZTC Integration at UNCUniversity of Northern Colorado$29,995
Open Mines: Deploying Open Educational Resource (OER) Development at Colorado School of MinesColorado School of Mines$30,000
General Education OER at CCA: Building the Foundation of Z-Program PathwaysCommunity College of Aurora$30,000
Incentivizing OER Adoption at ACCArapahoe Community College$29,300
Pikes Peak State College OER InitiativePikes Peak State College$21,375
Adams State Online Open Educational Resources (OER) Course Development Incentive ProgramAdams State University$29,990
Putting students at the center through OERFort Lewis College$20,263
MSU Denver Open Roadrunners: OER incentives for widespread OER adoption in 2024-25Metropolitan State University$30,000
CSU Pueblo, A DOER Campus by 2028: Z-Degrees For The WinColorado State University Pueblo$30,000
More CMU MORE (Colorado Mesa University Maverick Open Resource Educators)Colorado Mesa University$74,520


Individual OER Grants 2024/25

Project Title



Statics: A Student-Centered ApproachColorado School of Mines$5,000
Bridging Music Technology Educational Gap: Revision and Expansion of O.E.R. Zero-Cost Textbook and Teaching Website for “Digital Music Techniques MUSC4820/MSRA5820”University of Colorado Denver$5,000
Previous OER Grantees

2022-23 Grantee Cohort #5

The Colorado Department of Higher Education awarded its fourth round of grant awards. Awards totaling $960,018 were approved by the CCHE in March of 2023. The 2024 Report will be available December 2024.

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. Read more in the 2023 OER Report.

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. Read more in the 2022 OER 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 in February 2020. Read more in the 2021 OER 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 OER Report and 2020 OER Report.

Colorado OER Council

2023-24 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.

Jen Mayer, ChairUniversity of Northern Colorado
Katherine Brown, Vice ChairColorado State University Pueblo
Sam CollierStudent Representative, CU Boulder
Mitch CotaArapahoe Community
Rebecka CranwellNortheastern Junior
Jennifer DeBoerWestern Colorado
Jonathan DyhrMetro State University
Jaimie HenthornUniversity of Colorado
Sherry JonesRocky Mountain College of Art and
Michael Levine-ClarkAdams State
Mark ManzanaresAdams State University
Leslie ReynoldsUniversity of Colorado Boulder
Nicholas SwailsColorado Northwestern Community
Jacqueline TomrdlePikes Peak State
State Designees  
Charissa BrammerColorado State
Mallorie KlemmColorado Department of
Chealsye BowleyColorado Department of Higher
OER Council Meeting

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 2023 to June 2024 OER Council meetings are available here. The OER Council does not meet in July.