Four universities, three of them located in the Bay Area, have received $1.5 million grants from the U.S. Department of Education to lead and support a three-year initiative to increase access to open educational resources, according to a release from St. Mary’s College.

Open educational resources (OER) are low-cost teaching and learning materials without barriers and permission for open use, according to the release. OER has the potential to save at least 6,000 students more than $500,000 within its first year of adoption.

YouTube video
(Video courtesy of St. Mary’s College)

Librarians at Loyola Marymount University, Saint Mary’s College, Santa Clara University, and the University of San Francisco will use the funds to train and prepare up to twelve faculty teams.

The teams will create, modify and publish OER that can integrate diverse, inclusive and anti-racist resources into high-enrollment courses in numerous disciplines.

The initiative is meant to reduce costs for students in these courses, encourage faculty to promote OER and add more OER content focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.