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Open Educational Resources Spark Grantees Spotlight

Jul 29, 2021 | 20 Million Minds


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This blog post was originally published on 20mm.org.

Michelson 20 Million Minds is committing $100,000 via the Michelson Spark Grant program to organizations doing important work in the space

Over a decade ago the Michelson 20MM Foundation got its start in the battle around textbook affordability. At that time our founder Dr. Gary K. Michelson learned from a group of professors at Santa Ana College, a two-year public institution in Orange County, California, that each term, several bright and qualified students failed to complete their degrees simply because they could not afford the increasingly expensive course textbooks.

After learning that a group of motivated professors were pooling their own money to create a textbook scholarship, Dr. Michelson was inspired to join the cause since he, too, had experienced financial hardships as a college student that pushed him to work up to two jobs at a time while in school. He began by contributing his own funds toward the textbook scholarship, but was committed to finding a more enduring solution to the textbook affordability crisis.

This led Dr. Michelson to join forces with other forward-thinking philanthropic organizations to tackle this problem. In 2010, he awarded a grant to OpenStax, a new nonprofit open educational resources (OER) publisher, to produce a catalog of free open textbooks for students.

Since then, our foundation’s work to promote OER and lower the cost of instructional materials for students has grown. Today we are proud to announce that we are committing $100,000 via our Michelson Spark Grant program to organizations doing important work in the space. 

Learn more about the Spark Grantees and their projects here.