About Us

Show more About US

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI) was funded by the California legislature in trailer bill language during the summer of 2018. Preparations for its launch were made during the fall 2018 term and this state-wide faculty-led effort had its kick-off with a webinar on February 1, 2019. As referenced in Assembly Bill 1809 (Higher education trailer bill, 2017-2018):

This bill would appropriate $6,000,000 from the General Fund to the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges for the 2018–19 fiscal year for allocation to the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges to support the development of, and the expansion of the use of, open educational resources for the California Community Colleges. The bill would require the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges to submit a report to the Legislature and the Department of Finance on or before February 1, 2022, including specified data related to the progress of supporting and expanding the use of open educational resources pursuant to the bill. The bill would specify that the funds allocated to community college districts pursuant to this bill for the above specified purposes would be applied toward the minimum funding requirements for school districts and community college districts imposed by Section 8 of Article XVI of the California Constitution.

The OERI’s mission is to reduce the cost of educational resources for students by expanding the availability and adoption of high-quality Open Educational Resources (OER). “OER” refers to teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use and includes course modules, lectures, homework assignments, lab and classroom activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world (as defined by OER Commons). OER most often refers to openly-licensed textbooks and ancillary materials that are available at little or no cost to students. The OERI facilitates and coordinates the curation and development of OER texts, ancillaries, and support systems. In addition, the OERI supports local OER implementation efforts through the provision of professional development, technical support, and technical resources.

Contact Us

Meet Our Leadership Team

The work of the OERI is guided by a team consisting of a Faculty Coordinator, Area Representatives, Project Monitors, and a Communications Lead. The ASCCC divides the state up into 4 geographic regions. Our structure ensures that we are distributed across the state and can be deployed to visit – virtually or in-person – any of our 115 accredited colleges as needed.

Michelle Pilati

Faculty Coordinator | Psychology, Rio Hondo College

Contact Michelle
Michelle has been actively involved in the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) for over a decade, representing the ASCCC in various capacities and playing a role in a wide array of state-level endeavors, including guided pathways, C-IDStatewide Career Pathways, the Student Success Task Force, and the implementation of SB 1440. Previously she served as the Psychology Editor for MERLOT (Multimedia Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) and was a founding Editorial Board member and served as Co-editor of the MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT), a peer-reviewed online publication that launched in 2005. Prior to her involvement in statewide work, she served as Curriculum Chair and Distance Education Coordinator at her college.

Sally Potter

Regional Lead, Area A | English for Multi-Lingual Students/Linguistics, Fresno City College

Contact Sally
Sally joined the OERI in January of 2021 is a full-time instructor of English for Multi-Lingual Students (ESL) and Linguistics. She also teaches transfer-level English courses. Prior to becoming the Area A Regional Lead, she served as the ASCCC OER Liaison for Fresno City College. She also served as the grant lead for the AB 798 Cool4Ed grant for her college and has facilitated several college-wide webinars and workshops on OER/ZTC. Sally is passionate about providing community college students access to equity in education in an online environment.

Heather Dodge

Regional Lead, Area B | Librarian, Berkeley City College

Contact Heather
Heather is a library faculty at Berkeley City College and teaches courses in information literacy, research methods, and navigating information on the internet. She served as a grant lead on several OER grants at Berkeley City College, including a Z-degree planning grant, AB-798 (OER professional development), and has coordinated training and OER discovery in the Peralta Community College District since 2016. She is passionate about reducing textbook costs for students and libraries, engaging faculty in new pedagogies around OER, and eliminating barriers to higher education. She spent the academic year ’19-’20 as a Fulbright Scholar in Norway.

Jennifer Paris

Regional Lead, Area C | Early Childhood Education, College of the Canyons

Contact Jennifer
Jennifer is a full-time faculty member in early childhood education at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, CA. She is currently leading the department on their Zero Textbook Cost grant creating OER textbooks for their eight core courses (and co-authoring three of the books). She is helping lead a discipline-wide collaboration in collecting and creating ZTC and OER content for early childhood education and child development. Jennifer has hosted two ECE OER Summits and oversees an ECE OER Collaboration Google Group. This work meshes well with her passion for student success, instructional excellence, and equity.

Dave Dillon

Regional Lead, Area D | Counseling Faculty, Grossmont College

Contact Dave
Dave Dillon is counseling faculty and a professor at Grossmont College in San Diego. He is a general counselor and teaches College Success courses. He curated a College Success OER textbook, Blueprint for Success in College and Career (Rebus Community, 2018), and has recently participated in leadership roles for statewide CCC committees. He is passionate about student success, textbook quality, affordability, access, and design.

Shagun Kaur

Project Facilitator | Communication Studies, De Anza College

Contact Shagun
Shagun Kaur currently works as a faculty in Communication Studies at De Anza College. In addition, she serves on the Academic Senate, Tech Task Force and Online Learning Advisory Group at the college, and on the ASCCC OER Task Force. Shagun has served as Open Education Coordinator and OpenStax Institutional Lead at De Anza and has presented on OER, Equity, Online Learning and Student Success. Shagun has been passionate about OER adoption and advocacy since 2014 when she co-wrote and edited a video series on Information Literacy for De Anza college and is currently curating/authoring two Communication Studies books and ancillaries on LibreTexts.

Suzanne Wakim

Project Facilitator | Biology, Butte College

Contact Suzanne
Suzanne is the Distance Education Coordinator, Open Educational Resources Coordinator, Student Learning Outcomes Coordinator, and biology faculty at Butte Community College. Suzanne Wakim has designed and developed over a dozen biology courses including five online courses. She has helped write numerous textbooks and learning ancillaries including content for Nature, Discovery Education, Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative and OpenStax. She has presented on topics such as: Universal Design for Learning; Open Pedagogy for Equity-Minded Course Development; and Learning Apps for Increased Student Engagement.

Julie Bruno

Communications Lead| Communication Studies, Sierra College

Contact Julie
Julie has been involved with the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges since 2010, representing the ASCCC in a variety of projects and programs including guided pathways, Strong Workforce Task Force, and C-ID. Through her advocacy work as ASCCC president, the funding for the Open Educational Resources Initiative was secured in 2018.  Julie has been a faculty member and department chair in the Communication Studies department at Sierra College since 2000.  

Rachel Arteaga

Library Discipline Lead| Reference, Instruction, OER Librarian, Butte College

Contact Rachel
Rachel is an associate faculty reference and instruction librarian with an emphasis on OER at Butte Community College. For a number of years she has led workshops, webinars, and other training about OER and ZTC for faculty and how they can bolster equity and inclusion on campus. She also regularly teaches information and digital literacy to students. For the last two years, she has served as the ASCCC OERI Liaison to Butte Community College. Rachel is enthusiastic about explaining and expanding access to all things library-related including licensing, OER, and online resources.