Montana colleges and universities have addressed the high cost of traditionally published textbooks by promoting adoption of OER—open educational resources that are openly licensed, digitally accessible, and free or very low cost for students.

State Leadership funds from the federally funded Perkins V grant will support increased adoption of OER in career and technical education fields to increase affordability of these in-demand degrees and credentials. This opportunity provides funding to support faculty, staff, and administrators with funds to grow use of OER in CTE courses and fields at Perkins-eligible institutions. Requests for funding will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are expended. Priority will be given to OER for CTE courses and programs that are high-enrollment, frequently taught, and common across the system.

Deadline to apply and complete funded activities: June 30, 2023

Total Funding Available: $50,000


Any individuals or teams of faculty, staff, or administrators from a Perkins-eligible institution in good standing with their local application funds may receive these leadership funds that support use of OER in CTE fields, courses, or programs. A list of eligible programs may be found here. In addition to the list of eligible programs, courses and programs must be credit-bearing.

Perkins eligible institutions include: Blackfeet Community College, City College, Flathead Valley Community College, Gallatin College, Great Falls College, Helena College, Highlands College, Miles Community College, Missoula College, MSU Northern, Salish Kootenai College, and UM Western. 

Allowable Activities and Expenses

Applicants are encouraged to request funding for individual projects (i.e. adopting an OER text for a single CTE course) or larger departmental or institutional projects.

Activities and budget must follow Perkins guidelines. If you have questions about whether a specific activity is eligible or about how to budget for paid time, please contact your institution’s Perkins coordinator. Eligible activities include:

  • time for faculty and staff to adopt OER (including time to identify, review, revise syllabi for OER); revise existing OER to meet course objectives);
  • attendance at trainings or educational opportunities that support OER adoption in CTE fields;
  • costs associated with hosting an event (meeting space, speaker fees, registration, etc; meal costs are not covered);
  • travel associated with training or funded activities;
  • other Perkins-allowable activities that support expansion of OER in CTE fields.


Applications must include a proposed budget (template found here). 

  • Funding will be administered through campus payroll and is subject to payroll expenses;
  • funding for time will be budgeted at established campus hourly rate;
  • time and effort will be accounted for if budgeted activities include time;
  • applicants work through campus budget office to request reimbursement from OCHE.


Applicants must follow Perkin’s guidelines to provide a quarterly report on activities and budget. Faculty and staff will also be required to provide information about OER adopted through support of grant support. Applicants receiving funding must agree to complete proposed projects and submit a final report by July 31, 2023. Report template found here

To Apply

  1. Contact your institution’s Perkins coordinator to verify that your project is in a CTE field, course, or program. A list of current campus Perkins coordinators may be found in the grant announcement appendix.
  2. Complete the application (found here). 
  3. Work with your institutional budget office to develop a budget (template linked here).
  4. Submit application with budget to Ciera Franks Ongoy or Crystine Miller Please use the subject line “OER CTE Application.”

Perkins Obligated Use of Funds

  • Campuses awarded funds must complete the activities and achieve the outcomes identified in the final, awarded version of the grant application.
  • Acknowledgement of Federal Funding. When issuing statements, press releases, requests for proposals, bid solicitations, and other documents describing projects funded in whole or in part with federal money, all grantees, including but not limited to state and local governments, shall clearly state:
    • Percentage of the total cost of the project which will be financed with federal money;
    • Dollar amount of federal funds awarded to the project.
  • Supplement, not supplant. Funds made available under this Act for CTE/basic education activities shall supplement, and shall not supplant, non-federal funds expended to carry out CTE/basic education activities.
  • In addition, funds must be used in accordance with:

Notice of Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education that there will be no discrimination or harassment on the grounds of race, color, sex, marital status, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability in any educational programs, activities, or employment. Persons having questions about equal opportunity and nondiscrimination should contact the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education MOA Coordinator.