Community colleges confront many issues surrounding the free-flow of information, commonly known in the educational community as open access to information, or open educational resources (OER). These issues (including content ownership, copyright law, access, cost and delivery) have come into focus by both economic and technological changes. Open access to information impacts every aspect of the educational environment-- the escalating price of the students’ textbooks, materials faculty wish to use in their courses, materials for libraries, and the ownership of faculty research.
In order to preserve an innovative educational environment where there is a free exchange of information, community colleges must support affirmative efforts in the creation, ownership, evaluation, dissemination and preservation of information, which are essential to unfettered educational inquiry.
In response, AACC urges community colleges to join the open access/scholarly communication debate as appropriate. The Association urges community college administrators, faculty and staff to be well represented and play a vital role in national discussions and decisions regarding open access to information.
Further, AACC supports the active engagement of the college community in an educational understanding and appropriate use of open educational resources to support student success.
Moreover, AACC supports the use of digital repositories for faculty research and curriculum content.
Finally, AACC supports the creation of sustainable business models for the equitable distribution and access to content created by and for the college community.