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Thursday, November 28 • 11:00 - 12:05
Zero Textbook Cost Degrees: Improving Social Justice or Just Lowering Costs

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Session Table Name: BOLOGNA

Canada and the U.S. have recently targeted efforts to create credential pathways where faculty and students use only OER or zero cost instructional materials. These pathways are more commonly called Zed Creds in Canada (Lambert, 2018) and OER/Z Degrees in the US. It is well documented that the significant cost of textbooks which are common in higher education programs in North America present a barrier to student success and timely completion (Florida Virtual Campus, 2016, p.5, p.10) and have a greater adverse effect on traditionally underrepresented low-income and minority students. (Griffiths, et. al, 2018, p.11).

Higher education is a key indicator for social mobility with unemployment rates for 4-year college graduates at about half of the US national average (U.S. Department of Education, 2016). Enrollments of traditionally underrepresented student populations have grown significantly over the last 20 years but equity gaps remain with low completion and graduation rates. Z-Degree programs have been seen as a solution to increasing graduation rates particularly for low income and minority students but early findings have shown low student awareness of these programs. Students who work more than 20 hours per week were less likely to have heard about these opportunities. (Griffiths, et. al, 2018, p.12)

As the Z-Degree programs mature, it is an opportune time to examine more closely how well these programs address the original goals of serving the underrepresented student. Using Fraser’s Social Justice Framework as adapted here (Hodgkinson-Williams, C. A., et. al., 2018), participants will be asked to critically analyze the efficacy and outcomes of current OER/Z-degrees. Suggestions for how to improve Z-degree implementation to enhance social justice will be discussed.


Una Daly

Director, Community College Outreach, OpenCourseWare Consortium
I am passionate about expanding access to education through the adoption of open textbooks and open educational resources. As the Community College Outreach Director at the Open Courseware Consortium, I work with faculty and staff at community colleges to create awareness and share... Read More →
avatar for James Glapa-Grossklag

James Glapa-Grossklag

Dean, Educational Technology, Learning Resources, College of the Canyons
James Glapa-Grossklag is the Dean of Educational Technology, Learning Resources, and Distance Learning at College of the Canyons (California, USA). He directs the statewide CCC DECT grant and co-coordinated Technical Assistance for the CCC Zero Textbook Cost grant program. James is... Read More →
avatar for Tannis Morgan

Tannis Morgan

Advisor, Teaching & Learning and Researcher, Open Education Practices, BCCampus
avatar for Janice Kempster

Janice Kempster

Dean of Distance Education, Pima Community College

Thursday November 28, 2019 11:00 - 12:05 CET
BL27 first floor north corridor - Action Lab