Victoria College receives $25,000 grant to make humanities courses more affordable

Dr. Jennifer Kent

Victoria College has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to make free, open educational resources – or OER materials – available to students in select history, speech and music courses.

Open educational resources are free, openly licensed course materials created or adapted by faculty that align with state curriculum.

VC was chosen by NEH as one of the 22 recipients out of 94 nationwide applicants to receive a Spotlight on Humanities in Higher Education grant. VC’s Open Educational Resources Exploration Project aims to reduce expenses for humanities courses by eliminating the cost of textbooks for students.

Dr. Ed Byerly, VC’s Department Chair of Social Sciences and Professor of History, will serve as project director, overseeing the development of OER materials for humanities courses alongside instructors Cy Miessler, Associate Professor of Music, and Tanya Frolick, Speech Instructor. The NEH grant will cover 100 percent of the project costs, including identification of OER materials, curriculum development and conference attendance for training and research.

“At Victoria College, we understand the majority of our students are the first in their families to attend college, working to overcome obstacles as they prepare for good careers in the region,” said Dr. Jennifer Kent, VC President. “Unfortunately, the rising costs of textbooks often limits struggling students, even delaying their program completion. Through the NEH grant, our humanities faculty will have the resources they need to compile instructional materials at no cost to students, thus helping them get to the finish line even faster. We are excited to receive the grant, and even more excited to remove barriers for students.”

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the article do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.