SPARC Projects

Connect OER

Open Education

Montgomery College

Rockville, MD, United States
Official Website @montgomerycoll

Type: Public 2-Year
Annual Enrollment: 25,517

  SPARC Member  

OER Webpage
OER LibGuide


Montgomery College is a large, multiple locations community college just north and northwest of Washington D.C. It is the largest community college in the state of Maryland. The population that is served by Montgomery College is one of the most diverse in the nation. Further, there is a wide spectrum that represents income in the County that includes a very large population of recent immigrants, and a large population of people with lower incomes. Looking for ways to complete college with as little cost as possible has been a priority for many years at Montgomery College.

Montgomery College was selected to participate in the Achieving the Dream (ATD) initiative in March 2016. Whereas some faculty and staff knew about the concept of using Open Educational Resources (OERs) in their courses, it was not a mainstream concept until recently. That changed when the College applied for and was awarded an ATD OER grant in 2014. Choosing to target our most popular degree – General Studies, Montgomery College started a number of initiatives to promote OERs on campus that year. Workshops were developed, department meetings included presentations on OER, and some faculty were selected to participate. A Fellowship was developed in which ten faculty teams worked on OERs for select courses. A Showcase of faculty who had either adopted or built their own OERs was presented, and an internal project funded faculty in four selected degree programs to develop Z courses in the required courses of their program. The aim was, and remains, to develop all courses that have no associated costs for instructional materials, what we are calling “Z” courses. The difference between these four degree programs (Business, Communications, Criminal Justice, and Education) and the ATD grant program is, ATD requires the courses to have formal OERs (open plus licensed and accessible). The Z courses need to be free of material costs to the students. The descriptions of all these initiatives can be seen on our MC Open website.

Two things contributed to immense growth of Z courses this past year: 1) a call to College Deans to survey their faculty to see who is currently not using publisher material in their course, and 2) a configuration of our College Student Information System (Banner) to include a designator for Z courses. The designator allows students to search for Z courses in the courses they are interested in.

Montgomery College is also a member of MarylandOnline, Inc., (MOL) a consortium of schools in the state that promote online learning. MOL asked a staff member at Montgomery College to sit on the Advisory and Executive Boards of the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) and he provides information from that organization (webinars, OERs by discipline, etc.) to both the College and MarylandOnline.

Montgomery College Libraries have always provided support to faculty in the areas of copyright, evaluation, and search strategies. More recently, the library has become involved in providing support to faculty in locating and developing course materials that are free for student use. In the next two years, MC Libraries will be undergoing a reorganization that will allow for more emphasis on supporting OER and Z course materials access. In the meantime, tools and resources will continue to be made available to those seeking librarian expertise including libguides on the topics of Copyright and Creative Commons.

Campus Details

Campus Entities Most Active in Efforts Advancing OER:

Library Departments Active in Efforts Advancing OER:

Academic Subjects With Greatest OER Traction:

Mechanisms to Support OER Included in the Following:

OER Staff Location: