FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2021
College Receives Grant to Support Anti-Racism
In partnership with the Community College Consortium for OER (CCCOER), College of
the Canyons has received a second grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
to expand and extend the Open for Anti-Racism (OFAR) program supporting faculty in
California Community Colleges.
The two-year $900,000 grant will extend the OFAR program over two semesters, enabling more faculty members to plan, strategize, and engage with more students.
“The college’s leadership of this program reflects our leadership in the OER space and our commitment to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism in support of our community and students,” said James Glapa-Grossklag, dean of learning resources at the college and co-lead of the OFAR program.
COC has long been a leader in using open educational resources (OER) – free, openly licensed textbooks – to reduce textbooks costs for students. In the spring 2021 semester, 26 percent of all college classes used OER instead of expensive textbooks.
The OFAR program, first piloted in spring 2021, sought to demonstrate how faculty could use OER and open pedagogy to make their instructional materials and teaching practices anti-racist.
Participating faculty learned about anti-racism, open educational resources, and open pedagogy in facilitated online course. They then crafted an action plan to make a concrete change in a class they were teaching.
Ninety percent of first-year faculty participants indicated that their teaching practice improved. Faculty employed three key strategies: incorporating student voices to include non-mainstream perspectives and points of view; co-creating learning materials with students; integrating inclusive media to illustrate and explicitly discuss racism, oppression, privilege, and healing.
Due to these strategies, over 80 percent of students reported feeling more active or engaged in the OFAR class than in their other classes. Factors identified included faculty’s effort to engage students in the learning process, the specific content covered, or direct and specific interactions with other students as a required part of class.
Faculty are invited to apply as college teams in order to maximize alignment of their antiracist class implementations with the strategic goals of their institutions.