California’s Legislative OER History

The Community College League of California in its June 2016 e-newsletter provided a summary of major legislation adopted to support the use of open educational resources (OER) in higher education to address the high cost of textbooks. Below is an outline of the legislation.

In 2008 a report was commissioned on the affordability of textbooks by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.

SB 1052 (Steinberg, 2012) established the California Open Educational Resources Council (COERC) to develop or curate OER instructional materials for 50 of the most enrolled lower divisions courses across CCC, CSU, and UC systems.

SB 1053 (Steinberg, 2012), established the California Digital Open Source Library (currently referred to as the California Open Online Library for Education or COOL4Ed) repository for OER materials curated and developed by COERC. OER materials in this repository require a Creative Commons license.

SB 1028 (2012), $5 million was appropriated to support COERC and COOL4Ed, including a contingency to secure private matching funding. Funding also supported faculty development of OER for 50 identified lower division courses per earlier legislation.

AB 798 (Bonilla, 2015) created an OER Adoption Incentive Fund to provide grant funding to CSU and CCC campuses to support the expansion of OER adoption.

SB 1359 (Block, 2016) mandated the identification of courses in the online schedule courses that exclusively use OER and communicate to students that that digital OER materials are free of charge or may have a low-cost print version.

Governor Brown in 2016 proposed $5 million in grant funding for the creation and implementation of Zero-Textbook-Cost Degrees at CCC campuses.

In 2013, CCC Board of Governors passed policy to require a Creative Commons Attribution license on intellectual property developed using publically funded grants and contracts (California Community College Chancellor Office).

As campuses across the CCC and CSU systems continue to be incentivized through grant opportunities to adopt and institutionalize OER, the use of these instructional materials will have a significant impact on higher education and traditional textbook publishers.

For More Information

Open Educational Resources and California Community Colleges

Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources

With $5 Million for Z-Degrees, Small Change Is a Big Step for California Community Colleges

SB-1359 Public postsecondary education: course materials

Interested in adopting OER for one or more courses at SBVC? Contact