$25K Grant to Aid Further Integration of Open Educational Resources; Creation of Full Degree Curriculum

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- SUNY Orange recently received a $25,000 grant from the State University of New York (SUNY) to expand the College’s commitment to integrating free Open Educational Resources into its curriculum, thereby reducing course-related textbook costs for students.

Open Educational Resources are defined by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OERs include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”

Since last Spring, SUNY Orange has helped its students save approximately $260,000 through the use of OERs, with as much as an additional $200,000 in savings anticipated during the ongoing Spring semester. The SUNY grant will support further faculty implementation of OERs as well as the College’s development of a curriculum model in its liberal arts math and science degree that will be comprised completely of classes utilizing OERs. The liberal arts curriculum is nearly completed.

“Textbook costs continue to skyrocket, but integrating OERs into our courses increases the accessibility of instructional materials and significantly reduces the financial burden on students,” says Erika Hackman, SUNY Orange vice president for academic affairs. “Our faculty members are creatively integrating and developing high-quality instructional materials in those courses where it makes good sense to do so. I'm proud that our faculty are taking seriously the financial challenges our students face and are using OERs to remove barriers students encounter in acquiring instructional materials that they need to ensure their learning and success.”

Twenty-six SUNY Orange faculty members, across a variety of academic disciplines where courses may be conducive to the use of OERs, have received training in order to integrate OERs into their courses within the past academic year, enabling them to teach their classes with little or no textbook costs for their students. In that span, the College has offered students 169 course sections that have utilized OERs. The College is continually assessing and improving delivery of OER content to provide students with the most efficient and effective methods for successfully reaching their educational goals.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940