Colorado Commission on Higher Education approves 27 grant projects to continue expanding access and student savings in Colorado

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education today approved 27 proposals that provide more than $875,000 in funding for Open Educational Resources (OER) projects throughout the state. OER are high-quality teaching, learning and research resources that permit free or repurposed use and are legally available to students for free or very low-cost. This announcement caps off Open Education Week, a celebration and series of engaging virtual events led by the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s (CDHE) OER grantees, who have collaborated to save Colorado students more than $4 million to date by creating, adapting and adopting open resources at campuses from Trinidad to Fort Collins and beyond. “Our Colorado educators are committed to creating and expanding the use of free and low-cost high-quality, accessible educational opportunities,” said Dr. Angie Paccione, CDHE executive director and OER advocate. “We thank the faculty, staff and students championing these efforts, their innovations in teaching and learning save students thousands of dollars each year.”

The Colorado OER Grant Program awards funds to several institutions in two different tiers: individual and small group; and faculty- and institutional-level grants. Funded proposals are systemwide, intercampus collaborations and faculty content design in disciplines with high enrollment and/or expensive textbook costs. Projects range from comprehensive institutional efforts to individual course material redesigns that aim to reinvigorate approaches to teaching and learning at campuses across the state. View the list of awards.

CDHE is eager to support more projects that will lower costs and improve student success—two goals outlined in its statewide plan for higher education, Colorado Rises. 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.

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. To learn more about the Council’s recommendations and the outcomes of the program, including impacts and reach of the grants, read, Transforming Education Practices through Open Educational Resources.

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.