SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Department of Higher Education notified Springfield Technical Community College that faculty members Renee Tetrault and Eileen Cusick are silver winners of the second annual Faculty OER (Open Education Resources) Awards.

Each was selected after a sub-committee reviewed many submissions from across the public system of higher education, according to the DHE.

The DHE says the award recognition is one of the ways to acknowledge the leadership provided by faculty who use OER, which significantly reduces the cost of teaching and learning materials for students and increases student learning outcomes.

“Each winner was judged to have gone above and beyond the call to create, adapt or adopt OER for academic use within their institution and across our public higher education system and beyond,” the DHE stated in an announcement of the winners.

Cusick and Tetrault, who are professors of Business Administration, will be recognized at a May 22 lunch and meeting of the OER Advisory Council at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester.

“Congratulations to Professors Cusick and Tetrault for their OER work, which directly helps students by providing them with free course materials,” said Geraldine de Berly, Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Cusick said, “We chose to collaborate on building out a computer basics course using free Open Educational Resources, or OER, materials, since this could affect a large number of students in a given year. We also wanted to meet students where they are, technology-wise, and had equity in mind as we created our course content.”

Added Tetrault, “Not everyone enters the course at the same level of understanding. We expanded our focus to be more inclusive of various hardware that the students now use (including chrome books, Apple Macs, and laptops) and application tools and collaborative features. The more we can expose the students to various options available to them, the more prepared or comfortable they can become, working with technology.”

Recipients of the gold and bronze awards were from Framingham State University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, respectively.