Obama Initiative Boosts Community Colleges and OER

Obama Initiative Boosts Community Colleges and OER

President Obama’s announcement yesterday of his community college initiative represents the most significant national leadership in the area of access to higher education in more than a generation. The proposal includes a request for a $500 million dollar investment to pay for the creation of open education courses, which will be freely available to everyone in formats that can be modified, customized and improved. As Jamie Merisotis, president of the Lumina Foundationon put it, “this is the higher education equivalent of the moon shot.”

Here is an excerpt:

“Online educational software has the potential to help students learn more in less time than they would with traditional classroom instruction alone. Interactive software can tailor instruction to individual students like human tutors do, while simulations and multimedia software offer experiential learning. Online instruction can also be a powerful tool for extending learning opportunities to rural areas or working adults who need to fit their coursework around families and jobs. New open online courses will create new routes for students to gain knowledge, skills and credentials. They will be developed by teams of experts in content knowledge, pedagogy, and technology and made available for modification, adaptation and sharing.”

You can review the whole proposal here.

About the Author /


My published work since 1985 has focused mostly on public policy, technology, science, education and business. I’ve written more than 600 articles for a variety of magazines, journals and newspapers on these often interrelated subjects. The topics I have covered include analysis of progressive approaches to higher education, entrepreneurial trends, e-learning strategies, business management, open source software, alternative energy research and development, voting technologies, streaming media platforms, online electioneering, biotech research, patent and tax law reform, federal nanotechnology policies and tech stocks.