Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is a champion in delivering high quality post-secondary education and training that is affordable and accessible. One way the System and its 13 colleges do this is by tackling costly textbooks and course materials facing hundreds of thousands of students.
In 2011, CCCS pioneered the development and use of online course materials, referred to as Open Education Resources (OER), which has allowed their institutions to offer students free virtual textbooks for thousands of courses, referred to as zero textbook cost (ZTC) courses. The results of this groundbreaking work have been tremendous to students and to higher education providers across the nation.
In Fall 2019, over 26,000 CCCS students enrolled in course that offered OER, saving over $2.3 million in textbooks costs. With more and more OER materials being produced each year, CCCS expects to double savings for students in 2020.
“Textbook costs should never be a barrier between students and their college dreams,” said Joe Garcia, chancellor of the Colorado Community College System. “We are changing how students access college through OER and ZTC. Through innovative and caring staff and faculty across CCCS, we are making a dramatic difference in the lives of over 30,000 students by saving them $4 million in textbook costs.”
“Programs like OER are critical for students,” said Alana Lipscomb, Pikes Peak Community College student. “It’s one less barrier for us to reach our end goal, which is graduation.”
CCCS continues to break new ground in developing OER and ZTC courses. The State of Colorado has invested $1.5 million in grants to Colorado faculty and institutions. Since 2018, CCCS has been awarded nearly $600,000 in grant funds to support the development of OER.
This investment in OER at CCCS means that colleges will continue to be more affordable for students for years to come.