Connection, Collaboration, and Creativity: An approach to synergistic efforts leading to greater impact.
Educational attainment of people living in rural areas is markedly lower than urban areas in Arizona and the rest of the U.S. Eighty-three percent of Arizona geographically is classified as rural. Fifteen percent of people in rural Arizona live in poverty compared to 12% in urban Arizona and 11% in the U.S. Twenty-one percent of persons 25+ in rural Arizona have a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 33% in both urban Arizona and in the U.S.
Through connection, collaboration, and creativity, the Open Textbooks for Rural Arizona initiative has created a collective of eight rural Arizona community colleges, leveraging resources to increase student cost savings, collaboration, and access and knowledge of OER and Open Pedagogy. Dr. Diane Ryan and Ms. Megan Crossfield will explore the importance of collaboration in the context of Open Education and share effective strategies used to impact the greater Arizona community and beyond. Always keeping in mind, together we achieve more.
Dr. Diane Ryan is the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Yavapai College (YC) and the Co-Project Director for the Open Textbooks for Rural Arizona initiative. She has spearheaded the OER movement at YC and led the grant proposal effort. With over 30 years’ experience in community college education and as a previous faculty member, Dr. Ryan has been a pioneer in creating OER. As an academic dean and now VP, she continues to be an advocate for OER creation and adoption. Leading the OER program at YC, Dr. Ryan brings innovative ideas and practices to YC and the consortium. Dr. Ryan has her B.A. and M.A. in speech communication from Western Illinois University and Ph.D. in Community College Leadership from Old Dominion University.
Megan Crossfield as the Manager of Academic Initiatives and Special Projects at Yavapai College (YC) and the Co-Project Director for the Open Textbooks for Rural Arizona initiative is leading the OER work at YC the consortium. Although new to OER, Megan comes with extensive experience in grant and project management. She is dedicated to student success and increasing access to education for all. Through the consortium work she has quickly become an advocate for OER in the greater community. Megan earned her B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development and her M.Ed. in Educational Counseling and Student Personnel both from San Jose State University.