BCcampus ‘grants’ KPU students more financially accessible options

Fri, Jul 14, 2017

KPU has cred when it comes to open education.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) can add another credential to the multitude of options for its students and this one comes with free textbooks.

KPU’s arts certificate received BCcampus’s newest grant, the Zed Cred program. The “Z” in Zed Cred refers to zero textbook costs by way of using open educational resources and/or free library materials.

“This recognition really cements KPU's leadership in accessible post-secondary education,” said Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, a university teaching fellow in open studies and psychology instructor. “Open education is about inclusion, equity and diversity; all central values to the KPU community and, for that matter, to the Lower Mainland community.”

The criteria for the grant requires a set of courses in a specific program area that allows a student to earn a credential, such as a certificate program without having to pay for textbooks. KPU’s certificate in arts program was chosen because it demonstrated significant student savings and an innovative approach to learning and teaching.

With the full $35,000 grant, KPU will develop pathways for students to earn a certificate in arts by adopting and adapting pre-existing free online open education resources as well as creating new ones. The first pathway for the arts certificate program is set to launch this September with at least 2,100 students saving, on average, an estimated $1,000 each per year.

We’re proud to offer one of Canada’s first Zed Cred programs,” said Dr. Salvador Ferreras, provost and vice-president academic. “We’re all about open access and providing multiple means for learners to pursue their dreams. Zed Cred brings that all one step closer. KPU is perfectly positioned to lead the way into a bold and exciting future of open education.”

Any learning materials created under the Zed Cred program will be freely available and fully editable under the Creative Commons licence so that other post-secondary institutions in B.C. and around the world can borrow from their progress.

KPU also received an Open Education Resource Grant, which matches BCcampus funding with KPU funding for creating new open textbooks, redesigning existing resources, and providing workshops, training and other support services.

Story by Tatiana Tomljanovic & Erin Beattie

About BCcampus
Established in 2003, BCcampus provides teaching, learning, educational technology and open education support to the post-secondary institutions in British Columbia, Canada. We bring together the resources and expertise of the institutions in a collaborative model to develop curricular resources that are then made openly available. BCcampus also introduces and supports innovations in learning and teaching, and helps faculty and institutions evaluate and develop leading practice in the use of technology for learning. The work done by BCcampus enables a systemic approach to student learning in B.C. while recognizing the diversity of British Columbia's post-secondary system. 

For more KPU news: