About the project

California Legislators Created Opportunities!

On January 1, 2013, California legislation was enacted which directed the California Community Colleges (CCC), the California State University (CSU), and the University of California (UC) Intersegmental Council of Academic SenatesThis link will take you to an external website in a new tab. (ICAS) to establish the California Open Education Resource Council (CAOER Council) through Senate Bill (SB) 1052This link will take you to an external website in a new tab. and directed the CSU to establish the California Digital Open Source Library (CDOSL), also known as COO4Ed, through SB 1053This link will take you to an external website in a new tab.. The bills were authored by Senator Darryl Steinberg and established the goal of making higher education in California more affordable by providing faculty and students access to free and lower-cost instructional materials. The CSU was also designated as the administrator of the state matching funds in accordance with SB 1028 (in SEC. 5, Section 69999.6)This link will take you to an external website in a new tab.:

(f) (1) Of the funds transferred to the General Fund pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d), five million dollars ($5,000,000) is hereby appropriated to the Chancellor of the California State University, without regard to fiscal years, to fund the establishment and administration of the California Open Education Resources Council and the California Digital Open Source Library, and the development or acquisition of open education resources, or any combination thereof, pursuant to legislation enacted in the 2011–12 Regular Session of the Legislature, provided that the Chancellor may provide reimbursement to the California Community Colleges and the University of California for costs those segments, or their representatives, incur in association with the activities described in this paragraph.

(2) Moneys or a portion of moneys, appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) shall not be encumbered unless at least 100 percent of that amount encumbered is matched by private funds. Moneys appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) that are not matched by private funds shall revert to the Golden State Scholarshare Trust for purposes of the Governor’s Scholarship Programs.

The California State University, Office of the Chancellor submitted and was awarded grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which provided the private funds needed to release the state matching funds for this project.

Phase 1 Completed: Collaboration between the 3 California Higher Education

In 2014, the California Open Education Resources Council (CAOER Council) was formed and consisted of three faculty representatives from each of the three California higher education segments (CCCs, CSUs, and UCs). The CAOER Council was selected and supported by ICAS, who played a key role in defining and coordinating the implementation of the project. The CAOER Council’s duties and activitiesThis link will take you to an external website in a new tab. were funded by the grant and included:

  • Identifying and Selecting up to 50 lower division coursesThis link will open a PDF file. in the public postsecondary segments to target for the development and acquisition of digital, open source textbooks and materials.
  • Create and administer a standardized, rigorous review and approval process for open source textbooks and related materials.
  • Promote strategies for production, access, and use of open source materials.
  • Regularly solicit and consider input from each segment’s respective statewide student associations.
  • Establish a competitive request for a proposal process in which faculty members, publishers, and other interested parties may apply for funds to produce the high quality, affordable, digital open source textbooks and related materials in 2014.
  • Explore methods for reviving classic or well regarded, out-of-print textbooks in digital, open source formats.

Additional Information about the California Open Educational Resources Council (CA OER Council)This link will take you to an external website in a new tab.

In 2016, the CAOER Council completed their work on the SB 1052 activities. The major achievements included:

  • 50 courses with common ID numbers (e.g. course content and learning objectives shared for the CCCCSU, and UC) have 1-5 free and open eTextooks aligned with the course published on the website and easily accessed within MERLOT’s Course ePortfolios.
  • Every eTextbook has about 3 quality evaluations by CCCCSU, and UC faculty.
  • Qualitative and quantitative research was conducted to better understand the issues concerning the adoption and use of OER by faculty and students.
  • Developed “toolkits” to support faculty adoption of free and open eTextbooks.

In July and August of 2016, the CAOER Council completed another major task of reviewing campus proposals for funding from AB 798This link will take you to an external website in a new tab., the California College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015.

Once the accomplishments of SB 1052 and SB 1053 were reported and AB 798 grant funding was expended, ICAS agreed to terminate the CAOER Council in June 2016.

California Digital Open Source Library Activities:

The California Legislature SB 1053This link will take you to an external website in a new tab. called for the creation of the California Digital Open Source Library (CDOSL), also known as COO4Ed, by the CSU. The COOL4Ed website was designed to leverage its existing online open library of OER – MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (www.merlot.orgThis link will take you to an external website in a new tab.) and its Affordable Learning Solutions initiative (als.csuprojects.orgThis link will take you to an external website in a new tab.).

Collaboration on the open digital library services has been a part of our 3 higher education systems. The California Community College (CCC) system has been a system partner in the MERLOT consortium for over 10 years. The CCC and the CSU have long term, sustained policies and business practices for articulating courses across campuses within our two systems. CSU-MERLOT has worked with OER projects in the UC over the years including NEEDS/Engineering Pathway of the NSDL (National Science Digital Library) at UC Berkeley, an OER teaching commons for the College of Nursing at UCLA, and recently the Open Chemistry Project at UCI.

The grants awarded to the California State University Office of the Chancellor were responsible for the implementation of the California Digital Open Source Library (CDOSL), which continues to be improved so faculty can easily find, adopt, utilize, and/or modify OER course materials for little or no cost. The COOL4Ed website is the first library service of the CDOSL, and we anticipate that additional websites will be designed for specific purposes and different stakeholders. No language in the legislation shall be construed as mandating faculty to use any particular textbook or related materials.

The COOL4Ed website provides:

  • A collection of Course Showcases where faculty, staff, and students can find free and open educational resources aligned with 52 CID courses.
  • Over 70 teaching ePortfolios of faculty using free and open eTextbooks/OER in their CCC, CSU, and UC courses.
  • Comprehensive accessibility evaluations for every eTextbook in the Course Showcase conducted by the CSULB Center for Usability in Design and Accessibility. Easy-to-use handbooks for conducting your own accessibility evaluations are also provided.
  • Easy discovery of almost 5,000 free and open eTextbooks within a collection of over 70,000 free and open educational resources.
  • Explore methods for reviving classic or well regarded, out-of-print textbooks in digital, open source formats.

Phase 2 Completed: CA Higher Ed Collaboration and California College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015 (AB 798)

In 2016, the California State University Office of the Chancellor began working on the College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015 (AB 798This link will take you to an external website in a new tab.).The goal of AB 798 was to save college students money by empowering professors and local campuses to adopt high quality, free and open educational resources for course materials. Assemblywoman Bonilla (sponsor of AB 798) recognized that free and open educational resources can reduce the total cost of education for students and their families in California’s higher education institutions.

The CSU-COOL4Ed Team was a collaborative partner in the formulation of the AB 798 legislation and was responsible for designing and deploying the Request for Proposal process. AB 798 reallocated $3M of the remaining $4M from SB 1052 and SB 1053 to fund CCC and CSU campus proposals to support faculty choosing to adopt free and open educational resources that resulted in at least a 70% cost reduction of course materials. Each CCC and CSU campus was awarded up to $50,000 to implement their local campus textbook affordability program. The CSU-COOL4Ed Team was also responsible for the administration and reporting of outcomes accomplished by the campuses funded by AB 798. The total amount of awards funded in Round 1 equaled $1.7M.

In 2018, the California State University Office of the Chancellor opened a second round of AB 798 awards with the remaining funds. The RFP for Bonus Grants included all the requirements from the original 2016 RFP and allowed the CCC and CSU campuses, who did not participate in the first round of funding, to submit proposals by partnering with a Round 1 campus.

SB 1359 Archived Information

AB 798 Archive: RFP Information, Legislation, Resources, Past Webinars, Past Events

The AB 798 Request for Proposals (RFP) provided the guidelines, requirements and processes for campuses to submit proposals for their local textbook affordability programs and receive up to $50,000 to implement their program and report on the student savings created by their program.

Program tools supporting your campus plan for textbook affordability:

2016-2018: Round 1 Funding

2018-2020: Round 2 Bonus Funding

Additional Resources:

Past WebinarsThis link will take you to an external website in a new tab.

The COOL4Ed team conducts monthly webinars on topics that are important to the TACC Community. We use Zoom, an online conferencing software, and we frequently ask members of the TACC community to share their plans and experiences. We also bring in guest experts and give you time to address program challenges you’re experiencing on campus.

Past Events