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OpenStax Gets Federal Funding for Computer Science OER

Open educational resources publisher OpenStax has received funding from the U.S. Department of Education to address a gap in the OER textbook market. The nonprofit, founded by Rice University, will work with 12 collaborators on creating three openly licensed textbooks for computer science courses. In addition to the textbooks, which will build on existing OER, the group will develop digital resources, such as adaptive testing, as well as instructor training.

The $1.13 million Department of Education investment is projected to save students some $110 million over five years. The money comes from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), which supports technology upgrades at community colleges to boost cybersecurity curriculum, provides grants to make college more affordable and expands access to open textbooks.

The project is expected to be completed by Aug. 30, 2024.

OpenStax is working with the Consortium of Open Resource Educators (CORE) on the project. CORE, which is run by OpenStax, includes the Association of American Colleges & Universities, Pasadena City College, Florida International University, the Houston Community College System and Prairie View A&M University, among other institutions, as well as industry collaborators Google, HP, Intel and zyBooks.

"The work CORE can do, thanks to this funding, will not only enhance student engagement in computer and data science programs, it will remove barriers for students — especially underrepresented minorities in STEM," said Daniel Williamson, managing director of OpenStax, in a statement. "We are thrilled to have received this funding to be able to support more institutions and more students."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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