Partnership with three other community colleges expected to save students $2.2 million

Staff Report

Allan Hancock College joins with three California community colleges in a new grant that will save students millions of dollars by creating free textbooks and other open-learning materials.

Under the terms of the grant, Hancock will join with West Hills College Lemoore, the College of Marin and College of the Canyons to form the California Consortium for Equitable Change in Hispanic Serving Institutions Open Education Resources (CC ECHO) program. This partnership of federally designated Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) was awarded a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to improve educational access for diverse and traditionally underserved students by researching, creating and sharing Open Educational Resources (OER) for community college courses.

OER’s are teaching, learning and research materials that are either in the public domain or licensed in a manner that provide everyone with free and perpetual permission to use and distribute them. OER’s include free and accessible high-quality academic textbooks, homework systems and even college courses. The grant funding will support, among other projects, the creation and expansion of open textbooks for courses that are part of degree-granting programs, particularly those with high enrollments.

“The cost of textbooks and other course materials continues to be a barrier for many students,” said Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D. “This grant will help remove those barriers and ensure that all of our students have equitable access to the quality education that Hancock provides.”

The grant is expected to save students across all four participating colleges more than $2.2 million in textbook costs over the next three years.