Press Release

Sixty-Six Institutions Selected to Participate in New AAC&U Institute on Open Educational Resources (OER)

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the sixty-six institutions selected to participate in its 2021–22 Institute on Open Educational Resources (OER). This new yearlong institute is designed to support educators in launching, expanding, or hastening campus adoption of free and affordable instructional materials. The inaugural institute began with a two-day virtual kickoff event on July 26–27, 2021, and will conclude with a capstone closing event on July 25–26, 2022.

“As both a quality and an equity strategy for higher education, OER is an increasingly essential component of student success initiatives at colleges and universities across the country and around the world,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “The AAC&U Institute on Open Educational Resources provides those leading campus OER efforts with an unparalleled opportunity for sustained support and collaboration. We look forward to partnering with each of the participating institutions over the coming year.”

Open educational resources (OER) are educational materials, from single lessons to entire textbooks, that are free for faculty and students to use, customize, and share. They have been proven to be a viable affordability strategy for higher education, saving students—and often institutions—money. Providing all students with free materials on the first day of class also tends to level the academic playing field. Research on OER has demonstrated that performance gaps have been narrowed and failure and withdrawal rates have been reduced in some contexts.

Beginning with the July 26–27 kickoff event, participating teams of faculty, staff, and administrators engage in activities to facilitate the development of OER implementation plans. Institute faculty serve as partners for campus planning and project development. Campus teams will have consultative opportunities to interact with the Institute’s faculty throughout the fall and spring terms as their plans are implemented and evolve. Monthly webinars and cross-institutional planning meetings will be hallmarks of the yearlong Institute.

“Our kickoff was designed to develop action plans and to establish momentum toward enaction during the fall semester and beyond,” said Eddie Watson, AAC&U CIO and Associate Vice President for Curricular and Pedagogical Innovation. “This Institute’s new yearlong model will enable us to partner with campuses as never before and provide assistance and consultation as they move from planning to project toward institutional transformation.”

The following institutions are participating in the 2021–22 Institute on Open Educational Resources:

  • Alamo Colleges District
  • American University of Beirut
  • Appalachian College Association
  • Bristol Community College
  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College
  • Cleveland State University
  • College of Lake County
  • College Unbound
  • Colorado Community College System
  • Connecticut College
  • Delaware State University
  • Dominican University of California
  • Eastern Connecticut State University
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville
  • Framingham State University
  • Georgia College
  • Georgia Southern University
  • Glendale Community College
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Hillsborough Community College, Brandon Campus
  • Hiram College
  • Inver Hills Community College/Dakota County Technical College
  • Kentucky Virtual Library (Council on Postsecondary Education)
  • Laramie County Community College
  • Lebanon Valley College
  • Mercy College of Health Sciences
  • Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
  • Modesto Junior College
  • Muhlenberg College
  • National University
  • Nichols College
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • Northern Kentucky University
  • Oklahoma Campus Compact
  • Pacific University
  • Pima Community College
  • Portland State University
  • Radford University
  • Regis College
  • Russell Sage College
  • Salem State University
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Tarleton State University
  • Tennessee Board of Regents
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Baltimore
  • Universidad Privada Franz Tamayo
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • University of Alaska Southeast
  • University of California San Diego
  • University of Montevallo
  • University of North Florida
  • University of Northern Iowa
  • University of Puget Sound
  • University of Southern Indiana
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin–Superior
  • University of Wisconsin–Green Bay
  • Valencia College
  • Walsh College
  • Wesleyan University
  • Western Nevada College
  • Wheaton College (Massachusetts)
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Wyoming Community Colleges
  • York College of Pennsylvania

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association dedicated to advancing the vitality and public standing of liberal education by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education in service to democracy. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,000 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, faculty, and staff engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Through a broad range of activities, AAC&U reinforces the collective commitment to liberal education at the national, local, and global levels. Its high-quality programs, publications, research, meetings, institutes, public outreach efforts, and campus-based projects help individual institutions ensure that the quality of student learning is central to their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

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