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Cosumnes River College is committed to improving access and educational success for its students. A significant part of this effort is to make impactful changes to teaching and learning through integrated efforts across the college. The goal of the Open Educational Resources Award Program is to produce long term systemic change by decreasing barriers and increasing equitable access to education through focusing on textbook affordability solutions, including campus-wide adoption of open educational resources (OER).

Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that are copyright-free (public domain) or have been released under an open Creative Commons License that permits others to reuse, revise, remix, retain, and redistribute them. Examples of OER include: open textbooks, videos, images, course modules, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, games, simulations, and other resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.

Open Educational Resources reduce educational costs for students by providing free learning materials that are customizable to fit their learning needs and are available from day one of their class. Spending less money on required learning materials is a step toward eliminating the barrier of high textbook costs and may enable students to stay on track to complete their courses, chosen degrees or certificates, and other educational goals.

During the spring 2022 semester, about 30% of CRCs course sections are using OER (477 sections). This is impacting more than 14,000 students who have a combined savings of nearly $1.15M. Imagine the impact faculty could make if all course sections were using free and open resources.1

OER Award Program

In order to increase OER course adoptions and encourage classroom faculty exploration and innovation in finding new, better, more equitable, and less costly ways to deliver quality learning materials to students, CRC is providing a financial incentive of up to $5000 for three categories:

  1. Faculty currently using traditional textbooks are asked to convert to existing OER material or to adapt, remix, and/or create OER materials that are suitable for your course(s) and learning outcomes. You will have support from other faculty participating in category 3 and/or classified professionals working as OER Specialists.
  2. Faculty who are already using OER are asked to review and revise/remix their material to ensure accessibility and culturally relevant content.
  3. Faculty who are already using OER which are accessible and culturally relevant are asked to support their peers who are participating in categories one and two in finding, editing and adopting OER material.

This award will utilize federal COVID relief funds and other monies to impart long term systematic change. It is designed to scale OER adoptions across all course sections in order to impact every CRC student now and for generations to come. It is noteworthy that:

  • Administration and faculty leadership recognize the time and commitment needed to search for, evaluate, adapt, and adopt new course material. This is reflected in the award amount ($5000), which is higher than anything ever offered for this work.
  • All awardees must utilize materials associated with awards in teaching assignments for the 2022/23 academic year and make a commitment to require only free or low-cost course materials for at least the next five academic years through 2027.
  • Faculty will receive one award, dispersed through goal completion milestones, Note: Other incentive programs, including the newly funded California Community College’s ZTC degree grant program (sec. 85) may provide additional compensation opportunities.
  • Award amounts of up to $5000 are based on FTE load and are available to all classroom faculty (adjuncts and full-time) at Cosumnes River College. Individuals, teams, and departments/programs are encouraged to work together to spread out workload for a unified adoption of OER for each course and all sections.

1Figures are for spring 2022 and were compiled by the CRC Research Office by pulling demographic information and analyzing the course schedule and pricing from the bookstore textbook list. The average price for a single textbook is $92.00.

Award Categories

Award Application and Submission

All faculty are asked to submit the brief CRC OER Award Program Application (closing at midnight on Monday, March 20, 2023). Information provided on this form will allow OER Support staff to better understand your needs and to help you get started on your projects. See OER Award Program Frequently Asked Questions.

Cosumnes River College OER Award Program guidelines are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (CC BY 4.0) and are an adaptation of the Reedley College Pivot Award, Skyline College ZTC Early Adopters Program, and the Lansing Community College OER Award Program. All are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.