The Common Ground

Grossmont College Counselor and Professor Dave Dillon whose open-education textbook won a national textbook excellence award in Philadelphia in June has garnered global recognition.

The international, non-profit Open Education Consortium has selected “Blueprint for Success in College and Career” for an Open Education Award for Excellence. Its 17 winners represent 10 countries from North and South America, Latin America, the European Union and Asia.


The Open Education Consortium is a network of organizations that seek to eliminate barriers worldwide to high-quality education. Open Educational Resources, including Dillon’s award-winning book, are regarded as a way to reduce high textbook costs by acquiring educational material available online through the public domain or an open license and adapting the information for classroom use.


“The philosophy of open educational resources is very much in tune with our mission to promote equitable success for all students at Grossmont College,” said President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh. “OER has been a tremendous help to our students to tackle the problem of increasingly unaffordable textbooks and Professor Dillon’s international recognitions affirm that we are supporting excellent work that is moving us in the right direction.”


“Blueprint for Success” is one of three OER textbooks that Dillon succeeded in getting published that are used by more than a dozen community colleges in and out of the state. They are openly licensed works that he compiled to use in his counseling classes.


“I am appreciative of the original authors to openly license their work and for the many volunteers who edited, reviewed, and supported the project,” he said, adding that the support he received from colleagues and administrators was instrumental to the effort’s success. “I am thankful for my colleagues who share recognition of textbook affordability challenges for our students and value open pedagogy.”


Dillon is credited with promoting OER at Grossmont College, and joined by faculty members Lara Braff and Nadra Farina-Hess, launched a movement converting faculty to the OER digital platform. With the option of acquiring OER textbooks free online or at a much reduced cost in print, the projected savings to students for the current academic year is nearly $1.3 million.


“Blueprint for Success in College and Career” is the first OER textbook awarded the prestigious Textbook Excellence Award by the national Textbook and Academic Authors Association, an achievement that brought the book to the attention of the international Open Education Consortium.

The Consortium annually presents Awards for Excellence for Open Resources Tools and Practices and selected Dillon’s book in the Open Textbook category.


The winners are invited to receive their awards at the Open Education Global Conference Nov. 26-28 at Politecnico di Milano, a scientific-technological university in Milan, Italy.