Digital Learning Innovation Award Institutional Recipient

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Cerritos College Project Overview:

No other Division than Business/Humanities/Social Sciences (BUS/HUM/SS), nor Department than Business Administration (BA) embraced Open Education Resources (OER) to a greater degree. At the suggestion of M.L. Bettino, our Innovation Center Director at the time, the BA Department did a pilot study in 2008-09 using OER textbooks. The results were very encouraging. Student retention rose 7.58% from 67.4% to 75.2%. By Fall of 2010, 10 OER textbooks had been adopted for use in 39 class sections as the primary or supplemental textbook.

In 2012, we participated in a project with Lumen Learning called the Kaleidoscope project. The focus was on improving the success of at-risk students. Student success rates were enhanced at greatly reduced costs, and the project was chosen as a Campus Technology Innovator by Campus Technology magazine (2012).

As more and more OER textbooks and materials were adopted, student retention and completions continued to increase:


  • Fall/Spring 2008-09 67.4% (Pre-OER)
    Fall/Spring 2009-10 75.2%
    Fall/Spring 2013-14 80.3%
    Fall/Spring 2014-15 83.4%
    Spring 2016 86.7%


If students can afford the materials they need to be successful in their classes, retention should go up. It certainly has for us. If more students complete the classes successfully,
certificate and degree completions should go up as well. The completions for BA for 2013-14 and 2014-15 show this to be the case. As OER scales and matures, completions are increasing. BA completions increased 87%. AA/AS Degrees increased 33% while Certificates increased 190%.

As the BA department scaled their OER program, they began to have sustainability problems. The OER materials were becoming dated. Lumen Learning provided the solution. The OER materials were moved into the Lumen Learning Candela Library providing the students with many more options to access the materials, and with the additional resources of Lumen Learning, keeping the OER materials up to date will be much more achievable.

We are currently in the process of participating in the development of what I would consider for us to be our next generation of OER – combining OER and digital learning (DL) using a digital learning system Lumen calls Waymaker. To learn more about it, check out the Lumen Learning website. We are very impressed with the results. Overall retention increased from 86.7% to 88.9%, or an increase in excess of 10% from when we first introduced OER and 20% of our pre-OER numbers. We will be moving most of our classes to Waymaker over the next year or two.

Are we finished? Not even close. 1) By the end of next year, we will have 3 more OER textbooks. This will make 6 of our 8 programs in BA, 100% OER. 2) Much is yet to be explored using DL/OER. 3) A more systematic and organized approach needs to be developed as DL/OER scales across the campus. 4) In 2018, California has mandated that OER classes need to be identified on our class schedules. That will create some powerful dynamics to be dealt with. I personally think it should be left up to the schools to decide. 5) Will we ever be finished? Probably not. The question we ask ourselves is this:


Cerritos-College-DLIA-Team-Founded in 1955, Cerritos College is a community college serving an area of 52 square miles of southeastern Los Angeles County. It offers degrees and certificates in 87 areas of study in 9 divisions. Our mission is teaching and our faculty has established a distinguished record of scholarship, research and publication.

Cerritos College values its diverse student population and is committed to providing these students with high quality, comprehensive instructional programs that offer clear pathways to achieve personal, educational and career goals. Cerritos College is a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution. 69% of its 24,388 students in Fall 2015 were Hispanic, 7% Asian, 3% African American, and 6% Caucasian. Cerritos College ranks second in the state for Mexican-American/Latino student transfers to California State Universities. 85% of incoming students are the first in their families to attend college.

The District provides an innovative, technologically advanced, educational community in which students work to attain an associate’s degree, transfer to a four-year university, career/technical degree or certificate, or job skills. In 2012, the Kaleidoscope project created a comprehensive set of general education course designs that use open educational resources (OER) with a focus on improving the success of at-risk students. Courses in accounting, biology, business, chemistry, earth sciences, education, English, math, psychology and reading were developed incorporating OER. Student success rates were enhanced at greatly reduced costs. The project was chosen as a Campus Technology Innovator by Campus Technology magazine (2012).

PHOTO – Cerritos College DLIAward Team: Left to right: Jerry Ramos (Business Administration Instructor), Patrick O’Donnell (Director of Information Technology), Wendy Wright (Business Administration Instructor), Bob Livingston (Business Administration Instructor/Program Manager), Jose Fierro, President/Superintendent), Renee DeLong (Dean of Counseling Services), David Gunn (Multimedia Production Specialist II), Cindy Moriarty ((Business Administration Instructor/Department Chair), Stephanie Murguia (Dean of Admissions and Records), Jianli Hu (Business Administration Instructor) – Missing from photo: Rachel Mason (Instructional Dean/BE/HUM/SS), Marcela Daltro (Business Administration Instructor)