Graphic with text that says, "Colorado Community College System Awarded Over $300,000 System-wide in State Grants to Expand Open Educational Resources"

Open Educational Resources Has Saved Students $18 million since 2018 

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) and six community colleges won nearly $309,000 in grants from the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) as part of a $1 million state program to expand use of open educational resources (OER). 

OER are publicly available teaching and learning materials available at no-cost. The grant awards range from $13,000 to $45,000 and will support faculty and instructors in developing OER and improving access for students. Collectively, OER have saved students more than $18 million over the last six years. 

The grant awards are as follows:  

  • Arapahoe Community College: $61,477 
  • Colorado Community College System: $45,563 
  • Community College of Aurora: $30,000 
  • Colorado Northwestern Community College: $74,000 
  • Front Range Community College: $31,500 
  • Red Rocks Community College: $45,000 
  • Pikes Peak State College: $21,375 

“Our instructors and faculty are using OER in so many exciting ways. Some are using it to quickly update their materials to reflect our changing world or advancements, and others are implementing open pedagogy practices, which is a form of experiential learning that engages the students as the creators,” said Brittany Dudek, CCCS Director of Library and OER Services. “We are fortunate that our leadership is very supportive of OER efforts.”  

Arapahoe Community College (ACC) won three separate awards to develop OER for its early childhood education and nursing programs and incentivize more programs to transition to OER materials. Mitch William Cota, Reference & OER Librarian for ACC, said the state funding will help the college create full “z-degrees” that exclusively use OER.  

“We are entirely thrilled to continue our work here at ACC and hope to move more of our programs to OER entirely,” Cota said.  

Increasing OER use is a key strategy to make college more affordable and boost student success rates, especially among first-generation and low-income students. Over the last 45 years, the cost of textbooks has risen more than 1,000%, and an estimated 66% of students skip buying course materials at some point during their college career, according to the Education Data Initiative 




About CCCS 

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, delivering more than 1,000 programs to over 115,000 students annually through 13 colleges and 35 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities. The System Office provides leadership, advocacy, and support to the colleges under the direction of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE). Join us in changing the way Colorado goes to college. Learn more at