Open educational resources (OER) play a central role in Odessa College’s relentless efforts to remove obstacles to student success. Partnering with Lumen Learning to provide state-of-the-art OER courseware designed to strengthen learning for at-risk students, Odessa College is achieving outstanding results:
- Over $1 million per semester in textbook cost savings
- Over 20,000 enrollments in OER courses since 2017
- Emporium-style Math Studio using OER courseware to transform preparedness for college level math
- All sections of core associate degree courses converted to OER
Located in rural West Texas, Odessa College is a Hispanic-serving institution in communities with historically low college attendance, many first-generation college students, and significant socioeconomic disadvantage. The College’s faculty and staff have gone to great lengths to identify and address common problems their students face, with an array of inventive student success initiatives.
Faculty teams have led course redesign initiatives to transition high-enrollment courses to open educational resources (OER). These projects have improved affordability and access to learning content, and they have given Odessa College faculty greater control over how to shape the learning experience to fit their students’ needs.
“Our goal with OER course materials is to provide successful degree pathways for students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend college,” said Becky Musil, Dean of Teaching & Learning at Odessa College. “Textbook affordability is a huge piece of this picture, and so is the learning experience. Using Lumen’s OER courseware, our students have access to excellent OER content as well as online homework, immediate feedback, personalized nudges, and other tools to support them with the best learning possible.”
In addition to faculty-led OER course redesign projects, Odessa College has implemented other inventive student success initiatives, such as eight week terms, FAFSA workshops, Success Coaches, a Drop Rate Improvement Program to increase students’ connection to their courses, and first-class free for all students.
These student-focused interventions won Odessa College a coveted Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Rising Star Award in 2017, and it has been named as an Aspen prize finalist in 2019. Since embarking on this path, Odessa College has seen:
- Higher enrollment
- Near doubling of three-year graduation rate
- Lower drop rates
- Improved persistence
- Improved success rates, particularly among students of color
More about Odessa’s student success initiatives:
- Read Odessa College’s Whitepaper for the 2019 Aspen Prize submission
- Download a printable PDF of this Odessa College success story
Learn more about Lumen:
Lumen Learning provides affordable course materials designed using open educational resources (OER), with a catalog focusing on high-enrollment general education courses. Our goal is to provide OER that are better for learning and simple for faculty members to adopt.