Open Educational Resources to Improve Community College Education
"Open educational resources (OER) degrees" are gaining momentum in community colleges nationwide.
An OER degree enables community college students to take all of the classes required to graduate with an associate’s degree without using proprietary textbooks.
OER degrees help students spend less, and help faculty design instruction for their classes. This approach is consistent with the Hewlett Foundation’s refreshed OER strategy, deploying OER to solve specific problems.
Earlier this year, Achieving the Dream launched the Open Educational Resources Degree Initiative and invited two-year public higher education institutions and systems in the US and Canada to apply for grants to support the creation of new OER Degree programs.
“We recognize that community colleges are serving students that are disproportionately disadvantaged and who stand to benefit most from needed reform. We see this initiative as the beginning of a much broader effort in higher education and see a future where students have unfettered access to educational content that they need to succeed.”
-TJ Bliss, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
On a related note, California Governor Jerry Brown announced the state’s continuing commitment to increasing access to a college education with a “$5 million Proposition 98 General Fund to support community college efforts to begin creating [OER degree], certificate, and credential programs in California.”