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Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiatives at Bronx Community College: OER?

Learn about Open Educational Resources, and how Bronx Community College is creating a Z-Degree.

Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiatives at Bronx Community College

Bronx Community College is currently participating in two separate initiatives designed to increase students’ access to courses that use Open Educational Resources (OER) as alternatives to traditionally published materials (see the boxes below for information on how to define and identify OER).

  1. The first is a nationwide initiative funded by Achieving the Dream to help address the high cost of textbooks. Beginning with courses offered in fall 2016 and continuing through fall 2018, faculty at Bronx Community College will receive support to adapt at least one section for each required course and several electives of the History degree program to replace traditional textbooks with OER. By the end of fall 2018, it will be possible for a BCC student to complete our Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences, History Option while taking only classes that use OER as required texts.
  1. In spring 2017, CUNY was allocated $4,000,000 from New York State to establish, sustain, and enhance new and ongoing OER initiatives throughout the CUNY system. This funding must be spent in FY 2018. The expected result will be large-scale course conversions throughout the university.

This initiative seeks to engage faculty in the redesign of courses through the replacement of commercial textbooks with OER and other no-cost materials available online and through the Library. The short-term goal is to eliminate course material costs for students, when possible, and accelerate their progress through college, but an important secondary impact is to change the culture to create systems and structures that better connect curriculum and pedagogy.

This funding’s purpose is to develop, enhance and institutionalize new and ongoing OER initiatives across CUNY. Our goal is the establishment of CUNY as a national leader in OER.

Profs. Nicole Williams and Angel Falcon of the Library and are the primary contacts for these initiatives at BCC.Please contact either professor for more information on the topics presented in this guide.

What are Open Educational Resources?

Interested in participating?

If you are a professor who is interested in participating in the Achieving the Dream OER grant or have questions about using OER as core or supplemental materials for your courses, please contact Nicole Williams.

Licensing and Attribution


  • Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative at Hostos Authored by: Elisabeth Tappeiner, Hostos Community College. Located at: CC BY: Attribution.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Proper attribution is to Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative at Bronx Community College and Nicole Williams.

Help with "Open"

Definition of OER:

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.


The 5Rs of Openness

  1. Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  2. Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

by David Wiley of Lumen Learning in his blog post on 3/5/14.

Understanding OER in 10 Videos


Nicole Williams's picture
Nicole Williams
North Hall & Library