Maricopa Millions launched in 2013 with the intent to save students in one of the country’s largest community college districts $5 million over five years by incentivizing faculty via grant funding to develop openly-licensed courses and making low cost/no cost courses discoverable to students. As of fall 2017, the initiative has saved students over $10 million, more than doubling the project’s initial goal. The impressive success of the project may be attributed to a synergy of practices, including (but not limited to) collaboration across the district’s ten colleges, unwavering administrative support, and faculty training and awareness events, all with the end goal of improving the student experience in mind.
Each semester, a call for grant proposals was sent out for faculty to find, adapt, and create open materials for their courses. The rubric for evaluation is weighted towards high enrollment classes to ensure the greatest impact for students. Faculty who are awarded the grants are funded for three main tasks: training in OER, development of materials, and piloting the materials. Training was largely facilitated by an OER faculty workshop MOOC (developed separately within the district in 2013) that leveraged the district’s LMS, Canvas. Over the project’s eight phases, 21 courses were developed, 15 of which are now publicly available through Canvas Commons (searchable using the “MMOER” tag).
In its second year, Maricopa Millions submitted a business case and subsequently received permission to add notes to courses that are No Cost or Low Cost (<=$40) and empower students to conduct a filtered search of the schedule for such courses using the district’s Find a Class tool.
This collaboration between faculty, administration, and IT services made the impressive impact on student success possible.
Maricopa Community Colleges
United States, Tempe, AZ