College of the Canyons will be able to offer more online education classes and lower the cost of textbooks by expanding the use of online textbooks thanks to a recent education grant from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.
COC was one of 70 community colleges to receive up to $500,000 in grant funding to expand online Career Technical Education offerings and provide technical support for Open Educational Resources and Zero Textbook Cost grantees.
“The grant will provide resources to increase access, improve quality, and eliminate textbook costs to four of our high-quality online pathways,” said Brian Weston, director of distance and accelerated learning at the college and project manager for the CTE/OER grant. “Our online career technical offerings provide a clear path for students to take the next step towards success and pursue a rewarding career.”
From the college’s total award, $400,210 will go toward expanding online CTE offerings and adding OER to CAD for Architecture, Pre-School Teacher, Land Surveying, and Water Systems Technology.
The CCCCO issued grants through the Improving Online CTE Pathways program that was developed by the California Community Colleges’ California Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative.
The college’s award also includes $99,790 to provide technical support statewide for OER and ZTC grantees under the OEI-CVC CTE Online Pathways project.
“Our two projects build on the college’s leadership in innovation,” said James Glapa-Grossklag, Dean of Learning Resources at the college and the OEI-CVC grant’s project manager. “We were amongst the first California Community Colleges to offer fully online classes in 2005.”
The college has been a long-time leader in advocating for and implementing OER. In spring 2018, 25 percent of all credit sections at the college were offered online. In fact, COC faculty using OER saved students an estimated $4 million during 2018-19, a 33 percent increase over the prior year.
“This new grant permits us to assist colleges across the state in bringing the benefit of OER to their students, particularly in fields that lead to employment in high-demand fields, thereby supporting economic growth across the state,” Glapa-Grossklag said.
The CVC-OEI’s goal is to increase the number of transfer degrees awarded by the state’s community colleges and to provide access to high-quality, online programs and student support services.
New classes are expected to be offered in the fall 2020 semester.