June 12, 2018
The long-standing bureaucracy behind department-wide budgets is all too familiar for educators. Oftentimes when a new tool or resource is introduced from the top-down (by university leadership), it transpires to a school-wide roll-out. However, when a department head is offering a solution to an ongoing pain point, or instructors have collaborated to drive change, it can make it all the more difficult to secure funding - depending on the intent. With these improvements come headaches to allocate funding, obtain approval, and even make a case for change. When a promising tool or resource becomes available, how do instructors and department heads go about positioning an ask with strong points?
Make a Case
Indiana - Indiana Department of Education
South Dakota - South Dakota Department of Education
Connecticut - Connecticut State Colleges & Universities
New Hampshire - New Hampshire Department of Education
New Jersey - State of New Jersey Department of Education
Rhode Island - Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE)
Vermont - State of Vermont website
Alaska - Alaska Department of Education and Development (grant information)
California - California Department of Education
Oregon - Oregon.gov
Alabama - Alabama State Department of Education (active grants)
Mississippi - Mississippi Department of Education
Arizona - Arizona Department of Education
New Mexico - New Mexico Higher Education Department
More and more, instructors are finding use for solutions like those listed above as cost caps are enforced by universities [graphic source]. These caps help keep students from exceeding thresholds for materials like books and digital course codes. Albeit difficult to offer an entire course to a student for less than a couple of hundred dollars, it’s still feasible. For example, an instructor in Ohio who uses Mimir Classroom was able to stay well within the university’s outlined student threshold of $125 due to the $25 per student, per seat, model offered by Mimir.
Instructors like Dave Ghidiu at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, New York, are already using this final recommendation for cost control and allocation in computer science education. Read more and hear what he’s doing in this earlier post by Brittney Baxter on open educational resources (OER). Simply put, OER provides free content to instructors and students - further eliminating the need for funding for pricey textbooks, digital course keys, and supplemental tools.As computer science education continues to evolve and universities stand behind their mandates to reduce student-incurred costs, both grant-based options and creative solutions like OER paired with automation tools are going to become more prevalent.
As you work with your school or department budgets, what opportunities are you seeing for education cost reduction at your university?