CA OER Council

Since the signing of the College Textbook Affordability Act AB 798 (Bonilla, 2015), the California OER Council has shifted its focus to support CCC and CSU proposals for AB 798 funding.  See Duties and FAQ for more information

(established January 2014)

In 2012, the California State Legislature directed the public higher education systems in the state to create an online library with open educational resources and textbooks in order to increase faculty adoption of high quality, affordable or free materials to save students money. Through collaboration among UC, CSU and CCC faculty, the California Open Educational Resources Council (California OER Council) will facilitate review of textbooks for inclusion in the new California Open Source Digital Library (COOL4Ed).

 The project began with the development of a showcase collection of existing high quality and reliably available open textbooks that are aligned with strategic courses in the CCC, CSU, and UC. Providing faculty with easy access to open textbooks, and information about teaching with these materials by their colleagues, as well as providing institutional support and recognition of their efforts will be instrumental in increasing faculty adoption of open textbooks.

California OER Council engaged student associations from all three segments of higher education to provide feedback on the format, accessibility and usability.

 To establish the California OER Council and COOL4Ed, the Senate Bills apportioned $5,000,000 and directed the California State University, Office of the Chancellor to seek private funds to match the State budget. The CSU, directed to administer the funds, was awarded grants in Fall 2013 by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Gates Foundation to match the State of California’s funding, mandated by SB 1052 and SB 1053. Per state legislation, the California State University (CSU) will facilitate collaboration among the three segments of California public higher education to design and deliver intersegmental services for the faculty and students of California’s public colleges and universities.

 To quickly and productively deliver on the promises of SB 1052 and SB 1053, the project will leverage existing resources, such as CSU’s MERLOT and Affordable Learning Solutions. California will be a model for the nation after COERC develops and implements a review process for Open Educational Resources (OER) textbooks.

The California OER Council Project Coordinator reports directly to the Chair of ICAS, who is the key contact for the California OER Council project. ICAS is chaired by the CCC in 2013-14; CSU in 2014-15; and UC in 2015-16.

This project concluded in May 2016. See COOL4Ed for information about the subsequent project, AB 798 (Bonilla).