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News Release

March 18, 2021

Grant Received to Further OER Efforts

College of the Canyons will receive $370,149 in funding from the U.S. Department of Education to further expand its Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative in partnership with the California Consortium for Equitable Change in Hispanic Serving Institutions Open Educational Resources (CC ECHO) program.

OERs are teaching and learning materials that have been released in the public domain or under an intellectual property license as a no-cost alternative to costly commercial textbooks.

“We are honored to have been granted this award from the U.S. Department of Education along with three other California community colleges,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “This grant will be instrumental in supporting College of the Canyons’ efforts to continue eliminating the barrier of the cost of textbooks, which often can be higher than the cost of tuition.”

The $2 million grant—which was awarded to the West Hills College Lemoore as the grant’s lead education agency—will allow for the development of culturally relevant OER and for training materials for faculty, the creation of material on multiple open-license platforms, and the launch of mini-grants for subject matter experts and students to create culturally relevant OER materials.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant to further our OER efforts at College of the Canyons,” said James Glapa-Grossklag, dean of educational technology, learning resources and distance learning at the college. “We look forward to working with our grant partners in finding new ways to reduce equity gaps at Hispanic-serving educational institutions.”

Over a three-year period, COC will receive $370,149 in funding to design and deliver an online course for faculty at consortium partners to link OER with equity and culturally responsive teaching. The college will also design and deliver online training for support staff and student workers at consortium partners on the best practices for developing and promoting OER.

In addition, COC will organize and host virtual and in-person events to promote OER practices across the state. COC faculty will have the opportunity to create OER in collaboration with faculty from consortium partners, via mini-grants managed by West Hills College Lemoore.

At COC, free OER textbooks are used instead of commercial textbooks in hundreds of courses, saving students more than $5,000,000 in textbook costs last year. During the spring 2021 semester, students can find 427 class sections that use OER materials instead of commercial textbooks, nearly one-quarter of all classes.

Ranked nationally No. 18 in The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine for enrolling the largest number of Hispanic students, College of the Canyons had a Hispanic population of 15,703 students, totaling 45 percent of the total student enrollment, which was 35,018.

For more information about the college’s OER efforts, please visit the Zero Textbook Cost webpage.