DENVER – Oct. 5, 2023: The Colorado Commission on Higher Education is soliciting proposals for grants designed to expand the use of open educational resources (OER) across public postsecondary institutions in the state. The OER grant program is in its sixth year and will award $1 million this grant cycle to award at least $500,000 toward Zero Textbook Cost degree initiatives.
“Colorado’s educational landscape thrives on the power of open educational resources, where every learner can climb their peaks of success,” said Dr. Angie Paccione, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. “Our OER program continues to promote affordability, accessibility, customization, collaboration and sustainability while fostering educational innovation and inclusivity.”
The Colorado OER Grant Program will award funds to public higher education institutions in five grant categories: Z-degree, collaborative, small group, general incentive grant and individual courses. Z-degrees offer students the opportunity to complete their degree from start to finish with zero textbook costs. The deadline for an institution, faculty or staff to submit a proposal for consideration is Monday, Dec. 18, 2023.
Funded proposals frequently target disciplines with high enrollment and expensive textbook costs. Previously, 35 public institutions of higher education have received grants to create, adapt and adopt open resources at campuses. To date, students in Colorado have saved an estimated $31.5 million because of the OER grant program. To learn more about the impact of the Colorado OER grant program, read the 2023 OER annual report Transforming Education Practices through Open Educational Resources.
OER grant proposals will be reviewed by the OER Council, a nationally recognized advisory group created by statute that lends expert opinion in the areas of academics, librarianship and instructional design. Jen Mayer, interim assistant dean of libraries at the University of Northern Colorado and Dr. Katherine Brown, associate professor at Colorado State University Pueblo, were elected as chair and vice chair of the 2023-2024 OER Council.
“I am excited to serve as chair of the Colorado OER Council this year,” said Mayer. “The council has strong representation and leaders from throughout the state. Our priorities include establishing an OER Commons hub for OER grantees, council and professional development materials; supporting increased Z-degrees; providing education about inclusive access; and planning our annual Colorado OER conference."
About the Colorado Department of Higher Education
Working with the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, we support students, advocate and develop policies to maximize higher education opportunities for all. The Department believes every Coloradan should have an education beyond high school to pursue their dreams and improve our communities. Read the strategic plan, Building Skills in an Evolving Economy.