Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL), along with the Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration & Innovation (PALCI), today announced the first round of funds for Pennsylvania Grants for Open and Affordable Learning (PA GOAL) have been awarded, and applications for a second cycle of awards are now being accepted.

“These open resources will make a real difference in the success of students, regardless of their ability to pay for the instructional resources they need,” said Acting Deputy Secretary and State Librarian for the Office of Commonwealth Libraries Susan Banks. “It’s gratifying for libraries to be part of a permanent solution for more affordable learning.”

Funded by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) established by the CARES Act of 2020 and through PDE and OCL, PA GOAL provides grants and stipends to encourage and support faculty in creating, adapting, and adopting Open Educational Resources and other zero-cost learning materials for students in institutions of postsecondary and higher education across the commonwealth.

Thirty projects received an average of $5,859 each in funding as part of the first round of grant distributions, with $175,764 being awarded in total. Grant projects were funded in three categories: fifteen will result in the redesign of courses to use zero-cost materials in lieu of traditional textbooks, thirteen will result in the creation of new, openly licensed textbooks or other course materials like lecture slides or course modules for a learning management system, and two will reimburse the costs of library-licensed materials that will replace student-purchased materials for courses to be taught in the upcoming academic year.

Awards were granted to 30 projects hosted by 23 institutions across PennsylvaniaOpens In A New Window ; thirteen projects will be hosted at public institutions, and seventeen at private non-profit institutions, with five at institutions offering Associates degrees, ten primarily offering Baccalaureate degrees, eleven at Master’s-granting institutions, and four at Doctoral-granting institutions.

Applications for the second round of grants are being acceptedOpens In A New Window until July 6, 2021, for projects in the OER or Course Development categories, and until July 18, 2021, for Licensed Materials projects. Grant awards will fund projects with a proposed start date of the Fall 2021 semester and a completion date of June 30, 2022. For details and application instructions, visit pagoal.orgOpens In A New Window or email pagoal@palci.org.

The Office of Commonwealth Libraries within the Pennsylvania Department of Education supports, develops, and provides library services for learning and advancement. For more information on the Pennsylvania State Library, visit their website and follow them on TwitterOpens In A New Window.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website or follow PDE on FacebookOpens In A New WindowTwitterOpens In A New Window, or PinterestOpens In A New Window.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kendall Alexander—PDE, kenalexand@pa.gov Alison Bradley—PALCI – alison@palci.org

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