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Government Education Website Uses CVTC As An Example

Friday, January 28, 2022

Government Education Website Uses CVTC As An Example

Image: Government Education Website Uses CVTC As An Example

Imagine Kim Ernstmeyer’s surprise when she saw Chippewa Valley Technical College had been used as a five-star example to other colleges and universities on how best to use Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund money to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

On January 20, the U.S. Department of Education released new guidance for the use of COVID-19 emergency funds allocated to colleges and universities under HEERF. Open Education Resources, known as OER, was mentioned as one of the strategies to meet students’ needs during the pandemic.

Ernstmeyer, CVTC’s open RN project director, was thrilled to see the college’s hard work recognized with a mention on the government website.

“It is humbling to see our college used as an example by the Department of Education on using HEERF funds to ensure students have the tools they need to be successful in their college courses,” Ernstmeyer said.

CVTC is using the funds to draft a new OER nursing textbook expanding on CVTC’s existing Department of Education-funded Open Textbook Pilot grant project.

“The Open RN team is thrilled to build on the knowledge and experience we gained from creating five nursing textbooks to help create an additional Nursing Assistant OER textbook that is expected to save students in Wisconsin over $650,000 annually,” Ernstmeyer said.

Nicole Allen, director of Open Education with Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) – a global advocacy organization working to make research and education open and equitable for everyone, congratulated CVTC on its work with OER.

“CVTC sets an outstanding example of how to use HEERF funds in an innovative way to promote student success,” Allen said. “Investing relief aid in the development of open educational resources directly address challenges created by the pandemic while also building capacity to positively impact students for years to come — both in Wisconsin and across the country.”

Vince Mussehl, CVTC director of Library Services and co-chair of the Community for Open Wisconsin, will continue to help further open education resources through his work at the college.

“This is another example of how CVTC and our faculty are leading the charge in providing no-cost resources to our students in high demand fields in our region and beyond,” he said.

For more information on CVTC’s Affordable Learning program or this project, visit

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