April 19, 2021
In an effort to reduce college-related expenses, Niagara County Community College (NCCC) is joining a SUNY-wide effort to offer low-cost and zero-cost instructional materials. By utilizing Open Education Resources (OER), students enrolled in courses with this option will have the ability to cut costs dramatically without sacrificing the quality of their education.
A low-cost OER course ensures materials will not exceed $50 for a given class. The zero-cost OER option facilitates access to free course materials, eliminating the necessity of purchasing textbooks and multimedia components. In place of costly course-related supplies, OER allow students to utilize open licenses and public domain resources, which include rentable or downloadable textbooks, journals, articles, labs, lectures, videos, games, and other supporting materials. Resources will also be provided from the course instructor, NCCC’s Barnes & Noble retail shops, Henrietta G. Lewis Library at NCCC, SUNY, and additional vendors.
This initiative is available to all students, regardless of income. Its design is intended to make higher education more affordable. Additionally, Both NCCC and SUNY are making accessibility to these materials a priority. OER will feature adaptive technology for students with disabilities, facilitating new ways of accessible education for all.
This effort is beneficial to instructors as well, providing teaching resources and support. Instructors will have the ability to network with other faculty members to advance the impact of OER. They will also have access to professional development opportunities and can work directly with SUNY OER Services to integrate learning content into their curriculum. OER options give faculty members the freedom to curate a course methodically, allowing them to enrich students’ learning experience precisely.
The OER courses will be available during the summer and fall 2021 semesters in which students are currently registering. Courses which offer low-cost and zero-cost materials are available across many disciplines, satisfying general education requirements as well as classes which are specific to an individual’s program. There are already more than 60 sections with OER planned for fall 2021 at NCCC. To learn more about classes which feature OER, visit https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/academics/oer