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.

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ASCCC OERI Department of Finance Progress Report – February 1, 2022 

View the ASCCC OERI Department of Finance Progress Report and the report summary.

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 116 accredited colleges as needed.

Michelle Pilati

Project Director | Psychology, Rio Hondo College

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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.

Talwinder Chetra

Regional Lead, Area A / Mathematics, Yuba College

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Talwinder Chetra has been a full-time mathematics faculty in the Yuba College District since Fall 2008. In addition, he has taught mathematics at Chico State University, Butte College, American River College and Sacramento City College.  Also, he worked in India at a high school teaching algebra, geometry, and higher-level mathematics to a variety of students at different levels of mastery. He is passionate about equity in the classroom, student success and reducing textbook costs.  
Talwinder has served on many Yuba College committees at the campus and district level including Student Learning Outcomes, Flex, District Calendar, Basic Skills Initiative (BSI), Schedule Criteria, Academic Senate, Yuba College Faculty Association and he has served as the ASCCC OERI Liaison for Yuba College since Spring 2020. He is part of the AAC&U Institute Team focused on Open Educational Resources for Yuba College.  
Talwinder implemented two programs at Woodland Community College using basic Skills Initiative monies. One program provided free textbooks for students who agreed to math tutoring. Students in this program outperformed their peers and the program was identified as a BSI best practice at the state level. The second program was an early alert program, designed to connect students with resources for success.  

Heather Dodge

Regional Lead, Area B | Librarian, Berkeley City College

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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 and Discipline Lead Coordinator| Early Childhood Education, College of the Canyons

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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

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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

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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

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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 Coordinator | Communication Studies, Sierra College

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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.  

Discipline Leads

ASCCC OERI Discipline Leads are tasked with curating resources for their discipline, serving as a resource for their discipline colleagues, and will continue to focus on community-building during the 2022-2023 academic year. We are currently recruiting discipline leads for the upcoming term. California Community College faculty are encourage to contact their respective discipline lead regarding OER and their discipline. All interested faculty are encouraged to submit an application – even if their discipline is not included in our list.

This page was last updated on February 13, 2023.