This post was contributed by Robin Jeffrey, Learning Resource Center Director, Klamath Community College.
Serving Those Who Serve: Making Classes for the Military More Affordable Through OER Adoption
The Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base has been a part of the Klamath Falls community since it was built in 1928. Now almost 90 years old, Kingsley Field is the proud home of the Oregon Air National Guard’s 173rd Fighter Wing, and the men and women who work at the base live side by side with the rest of the city’s 21,000 inhabitants.
Many of those enlisted at the base decide to pursue an Associates in Applied Science degree from the CCAF, or the Community College of the Air Force, whether for reasons of promotion or for personal advancement. As part of that degree, Klamath Community College offers a myriad of online classes, designated as “M Courses,” specifically to support the military community in their pursuit of the CCAF degree.
Textbook costs can be a barrier to any student, but for those pursuing a CCAF degree they can be a major problem. These enlisted students do not receive federal financial aid and in the majority of cases the Air Force will not pay for any textbooks.
In response to this challenge, the Veterans’ Services department of Klamath Community College has partnered with the KCC Learning Resource Center to find OER materials for all of the college’s “M Courses.” This project will bring open resources into a dozen courses at once, in order to ensure that those who serve our country get the education they deserve at a price they can afford. The project has been met with great enthusiasm by the instructors involved, and three courses have already been successfully redone with OER material.
- WRI 121M: Replacing a $164.50 textbook for a savings of $4,112.50 in fall term.
- MTH 105M: Custom online course combines KCC content with free online materials. Replacing a $224.25 textbook for a savings of $13,903.50 in fall term.
SPE 111M: Stand Up, Speak Out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking. Replacing a $207.25 textbook for a savings of $3,108.75 in fall term.
The program has already saved students $21,124.75 in fall term. The goal is to have all the “M Courses” OER ready for the start of Winter Term 2017.