In 2013, the Board of Governors voted to require that any works created under contracts or grants funded by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office carry the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) that gives permission to the public to reproduce, distribute, perform, display or adapt the licensed materials for any purpose so long as the user gives attribution to the author. As described on the Creative Commons website:
CC-BY – This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.
At the time of the Board of Governors’ decision, Chancellor Brice W. Harris said, “The Chancellor’s Office already held copyrights to all materials that had been contracted. But the significant thing about the action taken by the Board of Governors this afternoon is that those materials will now be available to a world-wide audience. Also, the tax-paying public shouldn’t be required to pay twice or more to access and use educational materials, first via the funding of the research and development of educational resources and then again when they purchase materials like textbooks they helped fund. So, ultimately this decision to change the Board’s regulations will save taxpayers money over time. That’s always a good thing.” 1
Improving Online CTE Pathways Grants
The Improving Online CTE Pathways grants administered by the CVC-OEI are within the sphere of CCC Chancellor’s Office grants that must adhere to CC-BY (in any given year, hundreds of grants fall into this category, including Guided Pathways, Economic & Workforce Development, and others). The CVC-OEI notified grantees of this requirement with the following language in the grant agreement:
17. RIGHTS IN DATA AND MATERIALS. The Subrecipient hereby grants to the District and to the Sponsor an irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to use the materials developed by the Subrecipient under the terms of this Subaward. “Materials” shall mean recorded information, regardless of form or medium in which recorded.
The grant agreements were executed between the CVC-OEI (with Foothill – De Anza Community College District serving as the fiscal agent) and each grantee college and/or district. Grant agreements were not executed with individual faculty at any of the participating colleges and/or districts.
The Improving Online CTE Pathways grants focus on creating online curricula and programs, among other projects, and disseminating those to create more opportunities for students across the system.
As part of the grant agreement and overall grant deliverables, the CVC-OEI intends to:
- Publish on the CVC-OEI website the curriculum outlines (including COR), program outlines and learning outcomes, and effective practices garnered by the colleges through the grant activities, to share with other colleges and/or districts.
- Create opportunities for sharing and disseminating these artifacts through face-to-face and/or electronic means.
As part of the grant agreement and overall grant deliverables, the CVC-OEI does not intend to:
- Require individual faculty to publish individual content components or learning objects on a mandatory basis.
- Require faculty and/or colleges to publish entire ‘course shells’ containing faculty-developed content in any manner that would violate a local collective bargaining agreement.
Additional details regarding opportunities for information sharing and dissemination planning will be communicated to grantee colleges as part of preparation for future reports.
1 California Community College Chancellor’s Office. “California Community Colleges Board of Governors Votes to Make Publicly Funded Grant and Contract Work More Accessible.” California Community College Chancellor’s Office Press Release, 09 Sep. 2013, final press release.