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.

Assembly Bill 1809 (Higher education trailer bill, 2017-2018)

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

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 Project Director, Area Representatives, Project Facilitators, and a Communications Coordinator. As of Fall 2023, we are welcoming an IDEA Framework Lead to the team. 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
Contact Michelle Pilati

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-ID, Statewide 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.

Michelle Oja

Regional Lead, Area A | Psychology, Taft College
Contact Michelle Oja

As a full-time professor at Taft College, Michelle’s current focus is on student success. She became the OER Liaison for her college in 2020, and earned a sabbatical to curate an open-licensed textbook and developed worksheet quizzes for behavioral statistics.
In her previous “lives,” Michelle worked as research analyst for a county mental health department, as a psychology adjunct instructor at a variety of schools (including a professional vocation college, private colleges, and community colleges), then as a research analyst at two community colleges while earning her doctorate in Applied Social Psychology.
In addition to her passion for student success and anti-racism, Michelle loves the outdoors, science fiction, cheese, her dog, and her niblings (niece and nephews) and step-granddaughter.  

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 and Discipline Lead Coordinator | 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.

Lara Braff

Regional Lead, Area D | Anthropology, Grossmont College
Contact Lara

Lara is a full-time professor of anthropology at Grossmont College, where she teaches cultural anthropology and biological anthropology courses.  She has written and co-edited several OER manuscripts, including Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology and its supplementary Lab and Activity Manual. Lara has served as OER co-coordinator, OERI Liaison, and OERI Discipline Lead (for anthropology). At her college, she co-managed the ZTC Degree Implementation grant in 2018, and is currently assisting with the newest CCCCO ZTC Degree grant.

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 Coordinator | 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.  

Tiffany Lanoix

IDEA Framework Lead | Sociology, West Los Angeles College
Contact Tiffany

Tiffany has worked as a full-time sociology professor in the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) since 2007. Currently she serves as Associate Professor of Sociology at West Los Angeles College where she teaches courses in racial and ethnic relations, social problems, social justice and related topics. She has facilitated a number of workshops on anti-racism, cultural inclusivity, implicit bias and equity. Activism and social awareness are core to her professional activities and working to expand and improve OER is another opportunity for her to apply her equity minded and anti-racist perspectives.

Advisory Committee

Advisory Committee Members assist in guiding the ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative in its work. The committee meets virtually each month with the OERI leadership team throughout the term to discuss ongoing projects and challenges. We are currently seeking committee members for the 2023-2024 academic year.

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 2024-2025 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 June 6, 2024.