Aug. 19, 2022: Public Policy Issue of the Month: Dual enrollment and the use of open education resources

A Note from USDLA Board Member Alexandra Salas, Ph.D., Dean of Innovation, Teaching and Digital Learning Excellence at Delaware County Community College

Hello, USDLA friends! Public policy issues that will continue to be on the radar for 2022 and the next few years include dual enrollment and the use of open education resources. Both topics impact k-12 and higher education.

Dual enrollment provides opportunities for high school students to earn college credits; some can even make an associate’s degree while still in high school, serving as a pipeline for community colleges. While some reports indicate that expanding dual enrollment has been associated with increased costs, other research shows promise in reducing equity gaps.

Below, please find details about this critical trend from

If you have any questions and want to continue the conversation, contact me on LinkedIn. Wishing you all well! — Alexandra

College Futures: Here’s What’s Trending

The two new research reports involved different methods and data elements but generated similar findings on the promise of dual enrollment:

  • Structured/formal dual enrollment is on the rise
  • High school students represent an increasing share of community college enrollment
  • Dual enrollment equity gaps by racial/ethnic subgroups are more minor in these formal dual enrollment programs and have narrowed over time.
  • Access to dual enrollment overall remains unequal, and it depends on the high school that students attend.
  • Reducing inequities in dual enrollment requires a continued partnership between high schools and community colleges to create these formal dual enrollment opportunities.
  • The partnerships must center recruitment efforts and course offerings on equity.
  • Source: New Research: Dual Enrollment Supports Equitable College Completion, December 15, 2021, Colleges Future Foundation
Open Education Resources awareness has increased in the last decade. However, the uptick in adoption has been moderate.
While the allure of free and accessible course materials has driven interest, a lack of resources or time investment and perceptions about the quality of OER have stunted growth. Nevertheless, the benefits of OER are understood, and public policy engagement continues.
From the OER State Policy Tracker: Here are highlights from several states who have updated legislation from 2021 and 2022.
California: AB 132 (2021): Postsecondary education trailer bill. Other appropriations provide $115 million on a one-time basis to community college districts to develop zero-textbook-cost degrees using open education resources.
AB 128 (2021): Appropriations bill. Among other provisions, it provides up to $3 million to provide textbooks or digital course content to inmates enrolled in one or more California Community College courses. Colleges are encouraged to use open educational resources first.
Colorado: SB 215 (2021): Use Of Open Educational Resources In Higher Education. Provides $1 million in appropriations for the Colorado OER Council for the next five fiscal years. Updates the definition of OER. Last Action: Signed by Governor (2021-05-05)
Connecticut: HB 6402 (2021): Requires the Office of Higher Education to study issues related to higher education. Among other provisions, updates existing statutes relating to the Open Educational Resources Council to change a reporting deadline.
Delaware: #GoOpen State: Delaware joined the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign for openly licensed educational resources in K-12 education. The state developed the Delaware OER Strategy to meet the goal of creating a repository of quality open educational resources that have been thoroughly vetted and aligned with Delaware standards. The state also mentioned OER in its ESSA implementation plan.
  • Affordable Learning Georgia (2014-Present): Affordable Learning Georgia is a University System of Georgia initiative to promote student success by supporting the implementation of affordable alternatives to expensive commercial textbooks, particularly Open Educational Resources (OER) and open textbooks. The program was funded by appropriations from the legislature in 2014 and in subsequent years.
  • #GoOpen State: Georgia joined the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign for openly licensed educational resources in K-12 education. To become a #GoOpen State, states meet criteria, including adding OER into the statewide education technology strategy.
Illinois: HB 2878 (2021): Requires the Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Community College Board to create the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity. Among other provisions, the Consortium is directed to develop an open educational resources library if deemed beneficial and feasible. Last Action: 2021-05-31 – Passed Both Houses.
  • HB 318 (2021): Bill appropriating state funds to the State Board of Education for community colleges. The attached fiscal note designates $1,000,000 for a zero textbook cost program.
  • Instructional Materials Access & Affordability Policy (2021): State Board of Education requires all public 4-year institutions to develop plans to increase access and affordability, using OER where possible. The policy includes a definition of OER as well.
Oregon: HB 2919 (2021): Requires each public university and community college to prominently display the total costs of all required course materials and fees for no less than 75 percent of entire courses offered by public universities or community colleges. Requires annual reporting to Higher Education Coordinating Commission detailing compliance with the requirement.
West Virginia: HB 4355 (2022): This bill requires state institutions to disclose information about required textbooks and course materials to students, including 1) whether a course material is an open educational resource; 2) whether a student will be automatically charged for course material and the charge amount; 3) details about how the student’s data will be used and maintained by a publisher for automatically charged materials; and 4) information about the student’s choices to “opt-out” of the automatic charges and the use of their data.



At College Futures Foundation, we believe there is nothing more transformative for individuals, our economy, and our society than educational opportunity and that the pathway to a college degree should be clear and open to the diverse students of California. Right now, that is not the case. Not all of our hardworking young people are getting a fair shot at a better life. The vast majority of our state’s K–12 students are of color and low-income, yet when it comes to graduates from our public universities, they are in the minority. At every step, these students face roadblocks. We are working to change that. Ensuring the college success of students meeting the most formidable barriers will help all of us thrive—our communities, economy, and state. Our mission is to ensure that more students who reflect California’s diversity complete a B.A. and access the opportunity for a better life. We believe this is best accomplished when California’s education system is designed to meet students’ needs, is dedicated to fulfilling their aspirations, and ensures equitable outcomes. Click here to learn more here.