Ten years ago, Dr. Martha Kanter had the vision to create a consortium for community colleges involved with or wanting to become involved with OER. She recruited at the CEO level. At that time, the very few of us producing and/or adopting OER were isolated. We were writing a bit, publishing a bit, and searching for others for support and networking. Dr. Kanter provided us the structure to move forward. Dr. Judy Baker and I had the good fortune to be recognized and recruited (or maybe it’s drafted) into Dr. Kanter’s small workgroup to move OER forward into the field.

My involvement started with my colleague, Susan Dean, and I contributed our online course, Elementary Statistics, including the videos to the Sophia project, funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Anyone in the world was welcome to retain, reuse, revise, remix and/or redistribute our content. Of course, we did not know then of the “5R Permissions of OER” as they had not been defined as such. We wanted to share with the world to assist others with the development their courses. Soon after, Collaborative Statistics, written by Susan and me, became one of the first fully online, open and accessible textbooks published by Rice University’s Connexions, the precursor to OpenStax. My original, and still one #1 goal, is to save students money on textbooks so that they have access to course content by Day 1 of the course. Along the way, I’ve learned and benefited from the professional development that participating in this community has brought.

The growth, development, and accomplishments of CCCOER is phenomenal. We have grown into a recognized and valued organization. In fact, we are “the voice” of OER in the community colleges. We have much to be thankful for to Una Daly and the board members, past and present, for moving our activities from sharing a bit of OER among ourselves to coordinating large-scale projects with major impact. I look forward to the next ten years as we make a tremendous impact in our colleges for our students.

Dr. Barbara Illowsky
Chief Academic Affairs Officer
California Community Colleges, Online Education Initiative
Board of Directors, Open Education Consortium