Pennsylvania Grants for Open and Affordable Learning
The PA GOAL program was designed to encourage and support creating, adapting, and adopting Open Educational Resources (OER) and other zero-cost materials at Pennsylvania institutions of post-secondary and higher education
PA GOAL began its efforts in 2021 and ran through September 2022.
PA GOAL supported student success by offering mini-grants to create open and affordable learning projects at a diverse range of institutions across Pennsylvania, through funding provided by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) by the state Department of Education (PDE) through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL), and managed by PALCI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization.
Key program goals included:
Increasing the adoption of OER and other zero-cost textbook alternatives across a wide range of Pennsylvania institutions, with a particular focus on support for underserved or underfunded institutions, including rural, publicly funded, and community colleges
Reducing out-of-pocket student costs and thereby increasing the opportunity for student success, especially among economically or otherwise disadvantaged students
Maximizing impact by prioritizing projects that demonstrate potential to benefit additional courses, institutions, and students in the future through the creation of openly-licensed and shared materials
Applications were welcomed from faculty and academic staff at any non-profit degree-granting institution of higher education in Pennsylvania.
Lead applicants must be employed on a continuing basis at an eligible institution
Project activities must primarily support existing or proposed courses at the institutions represented by the team members
Project teams should include the instructors of record for any courses named in the proposed project, as well as any of the following: additional teaching faculty or instructional staff, librarians, instructional designers, subject matter experts, editors, graphic designers, or others as needed
Overall priority was given to projects that met one or more of the following:
In respect of the emergency nature of GEER funds, the program will prioritize projects that will benefit courses scheduled to be taught in the 2021-2022 academic year
Projects that demonstrate potential benefits across multiple courses, degree program tracks, or other expanded impacts such as alignment with the transfer credit framework from the PA Transfer and Articulation Center
Projects that include collaboration across multiple eligible institutions while addressing similar courses and/or programs of study, with specific courses identified for the project at each institution
Projects that will create openly-licensed materials for disciplines, degree programs, or subject areas with limited existing openly-licensed materials currently available and suitable for use