SPARC Projects

Connect OER

Open Education

Salem State University

Salem, MA, United States
Official Website @SalemState

Type: Public 4-Year
Annual Enrollment: 9,267


OER Webpage
OER LibGuide


Salem State University, established in 1854, is a comprehensive, public institution of higher learning located approximately 15 miles north of Boston, Massachusetts. Located in the historic coastal city of Salem, the university provides a diverse community of over 8,000 students with a high quality, student-centered education that prepares them to contribute responsibly and creatively to a global society.

In Fall 2018, Salem State was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Performance Incentive Fund (PIF) program to launch the Viking Open Educational Resources (OER) and Textbook Affordability Initiative. The program funds a range of professional development opportunities to engage 25 percent of faculty in OER use and development, achieve $500,000 in textbook cost savings for students, and develop a community of OER innovators among faculty. Providing professional development opportunities for faculty that increase the use and creation of OER advances the academic success of the Salem State student body, where socio-economic status and a high rate of first-generation college students puts students especially at risk of falling behind or failing to complete their degrees.

The four major activities that comprise the initiative are designed to energize a multi-pronged approach to professional development on OER – a speaker series to raise awareness and creation of faculty learning communities, an intensive summer institute, and a mini-grant program to incentivize innovation and creation. These activities are intended to meet faculty where they are, offering them a range of options for OER professional development to select according to their learning styles. In addition, support of these activities will include the formation of a university-wide OER task force, hiring of an OER coordinator, and the implementation of a benchmarking survey of OER usage on campus that follows-up on Salem State’s 2016 OER professional development institute. The program will leverage the university’s existing technological expertise in digital scholarship and pedagogy to expand capacity for creation of open educational resources beyond textbooks, such as accessible audio/video materials and software.

In 2019, 125 unique faculty have engaged in faculty development activities. By Fall 2019, the increased number of courses using OER are projected to save students over $500,000 from previous semesters.

Campus Details

Campus Entities Most Active in Efforts Advancing OER:

Library Departments Active in Efforts Advancing OER:

Academic Subjects With Greatest OER Traction:

Mechanisms to Support OER Included in the Following:

OER Staff Location:

Point of Contact

Elizabeth McKeigue
Executive Director of the Library