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BMCC Secures Tax Levy Funding for Free Textbook Program

August 22, 2017

The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) Open Educational Resources (OER) has received official notification that it will receive $371,750 in tax levy funding from the City University of New York Office of Academic Affairs.

The funds are part of a greater $8 million state of New York investment that seeks to convert both CUNY and the State University of New York (SUNY) course textbook materials to OER. CUNY and SUNY each received $4 million from the state. The goal of the funding is to develop, enhance and institutionalize new and ongoing OER initiatives across CUNY and establish CUNY as a national leader in the OER movement according to the notification letter from the CUNY Office of Academic Affairs.

All 24 CUNY colleges and schools received a portion of the funds and BMCC’s allocation is among the largest. The funding will allow BMCC to greatly expand its Zero-Textbook-Cost OER program, already the largest free textbook effort throughout CUNY.

CUNY is joining University of Minnesota Open Textbook Network, which will be providing a series of workshops in Fall 2017 and Spring 2018.

CUNY will also partner with OER Commons, a zero-cost online library that allows teachers and others to search and discover OER as well as freely available instructional materials. The OER Commons platform will be used by BMCC faculty to share classroom materials they develop at BMCC with faculty from other colleges and universities around the world.

BMCC will use a portion of the state funds to convert 43 additional courses to OER and create an OER math course website.

BMCC Associate Dean of Faculty Jim Berg called BMCC’s expanding OER effort an exciting opportunity for faculty to re-envision their curriculum and pedagogy to meet the learning needs of students.

“Faculty can find or create their own open and no-cost materials,” Berg said. “They do not have to be tied to the dictates of textbook publishers.”

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  • Funding part of $8 million grant to expand OER
  • CUNY will be joining University of Minnesota Open Textbook Network
  • BMCC will use funds to convert additional 43 courses to OER

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