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Bunker Hill Community College Announces New College Access Initiative

Friday, August 12, 2016

Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) has announced participation in the Open Education Resource Degree Initiative (OER), sponsored by national community college reform network Achieving the Dream (ATD). The College has been awarded a $100,000 grant to support the OER initiative, which aims to remove financial roadblocks that can derail student progress toward degree completion.

According to Achieving the Dream, the OER Degree Initiative seeks to boost college access and completion, particularly for underserved students, by engaging faculty in the redesign of courses and degree programs through the replacement of proprietary textbooks with open education resources. Over the next three years, the Open Education Resource Degree Initiative will lay the groundwork for nationwide adoption of OER degrees.

BHCC is the only college in Massachusetts selected to participate in the initiative, which includes 38 community colleges across 13 states. For this initial phase, there are four identified two-year degree programs for which all required materials are available: business administration, general education, natural or general science and social sciences. An important phase of this initiative will involve reanalyzing the degree programs, and re-working the curriculum to center around available open education resource course materials.

“The work required on our part to realign curriculum with the OER materials will positively impact our students,” says BHCC President Pam Eddinger. “This initiative is perfectly aligned with Bunker Hill Community College’s commitment to providing quality, affordable education to our students.”

With the average annual cost of textbooks at $1,300 for a full time college student, textbook costs have become an obstacle for degree completion for many students. BHCC’s participation in the OER initiative is predicted to reduce the financial burden of students, contributing to better grades, increased retention rates and faster degree completion for students.

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About Bunker Hill Community College
Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts, enrolling approximately 18,000 students annually. BHCC has two campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, and a number of other locations throughout the Greater Boston area. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-five percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC's students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 600 international students who come from 94 countries and speak more than 75 languages.