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Broward College Awarded $100,000 Achieve the Dream Open Educational Resource Degree Grant


Grant to provide alternative educational materials for students at no cost

Fort Lauderdale, FL (June 14, 2016) - Broward College recently was awarded the Achieve the Dream Open Educational Resource (OER) Degree Grant.  This grant award the College $100,000 to support the availability of open resources to mitigate the rising costs of textbooks and class materials.

"Broward College always is looking for opportunities to keep higher education affordable and accessible to those who wish to pursue a degree," said J. David Armstrong, Jr., Broward College president. "We are honored to have been selected to receive this grant, which allows us to offer our students alternatives to pricey textbooks and expensive supplemental material."

The OER Degree Initiative seeks to improve college access and completion, especially for underserved students, by engaging faculty in the redesign of classes and degree programs by replacing textbooks with open educational resources. Over a 31-month period, the grant will underwrite alternative curriculum resources such as videos, papers, and multi-use licenses for materials for Broward College Online courses.

According to David Shulman, Ph.D., president of Broward College Online, "a full-time student will pay an average of $100 per textbook, with nearly $1,300 in yearly costs for curriculum-specific materials. Knowing that many textbooks cannot be resold because new editions and revisions seem to come annually, it is a huge burden to carry for cash-strapped students trying to improve their circumstances."

Broward College has been proactive in identifying creative and innovative avenues to keep education affordable, and the OER Degree Initiative grant will support these and new initiatives. For example, the College has worked with faculty to find creative substitutes such as using one textbook for three consecutive mathematics courses. In some cases, supplemental course materials have been eliminated entirely in favor of multi-user licenses which allow unlimited students to access information online. In fact, most classes at the College's fully online campus, Broward College Online has zero textbook costs.  

This past year it is estimated that 22,198 Broward College students saved over $2.2 million in textbook and materials costs due, in part, to the availability of supplemental resources and creative textbook alternatives.

For more information on the OER Degree Initiative, its grant funding criteria, or Broward College's partnership in Achieve the Dream please contact the Broward College Online office at (954) 201-7932.

 BC

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Serving more than 63,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the college is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit www.broward.edu.    

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