Polis Administration Continues to Save Colorado Students Money: Colorado Commission on Higher Education Approves 20 Open Education Grant Projects

Thursday, March 10, 2022

DENVER – The Colorado Commission on Higher Education announced support for 20 proposals for Open Educational Resources (OER) projects to save students money on high-quality teaching, learning, and research resources. 

“We are saving Colorado students money on textbooks, providing innovative and high-quality education, and reducing out-of-pocket costs,” said Gov. Polis. 

The OER grant program is in its fourth year with 35 public institutions of higher education across Colorado previously receiving grants. To date, grantees have collaborated to save Colorado students more than $10 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 2021 report Colorado Rises: Transforming Education Practices through Open Educational Resources.

The Colorado OER Grant Program awards funds to public higher education institutions in two different tiers: individual and small group; and institutional-level grants. Institution-funded proposals are frequently intercampus collaborations and target disciplines with high enrollment and/or expensive textbook costs. Projects included in the $968,000 in awards granted today 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.

“As the state continues to respond to students in the recovery from the pandemic, OER remains a strategic priority for saving learners money and promoting innovation and equity in higher education,” said Dr. Angie Paccione, CDHE executive director and OER advocate. “This investment matters. We thank the OER Council, faculty, staff and students for championing these efforts. Their innovations in teaching and learning save students thousands of dollars each year.”

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. The grant program was expanded for five additional years with S.B. 21-215.

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. CDHE is currently seeking nominations to fill vacancies on the OER Council.