Students, staff, and faculty gathered outside Pedestal Bank Library in Fletcher Technical Community College’s Schriever facility for a little ceremony at the end of October to celebrate Fletcher’s open education resources (OER) efforts. Since 2015 Fletcher has saved students over $1 million by using open education resources.
OERs are openly licensed materials that are used for educational purposes. OER often replace the student textbook entirely, and can be free resources or low cost resources. These resources can be used for teaching and learning and can be adapted and redistributed. Faculty who adopt an OER for their course can ensure that students have first-day access to the course materials at little or no cost to them.
“I would like to congratulate the Fletcher Technical Community College faculty for achieving this outstanding milestone,” commented Dr. Kristine Strickland, Chancellor. “Reaching over $1 million in textbook savings for students is a true demonstration of our faculty’s commitment to our mission and to ensuring that every citizen in our region has access to an affordable education. I am proud of the work that has been done by the Fletcher team in continuing to identify solutions to the barriers that impact our students.”
Fletcher began using OER in 2015 with the adoption of a no-cost, open textbook for Freshmen Studies. Since 2015, Fletcher has been involved with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System e-learning Innovation Fund and Affordable Learning Louisiana projects. Affordable Learning Louisiana is led by LOUIS, The Louisiana Library Network. LOUIS partners libraries and faculty to save students money through the use of OER and AER.
In addition, Fletcher’s Nicole Shaw was instrumental in the 2018-2019 Openstax Institutional Partnership, which helped drive more faculty buy-in to adopting or creating open educational resources, and/or low-cost solutions. LCTCS was one of nine institutions chosen as an OpenStax Institutional Partner for 2018-2019.