Recommendations for the Implementation of a Zero Textbook Cost* (ZTC) Designation in Course Schedules

Fall
2020
Resolution Number: 
09.01
Contact: 
Category: 
Curriculum

Whereas, Resolution 13.01 S19 asked that the “Academic Senate for California Community Colleges develop suggested guidelines, policies, and practices for implementation of SB 1359 (Block, 2016) no later than Spring of 2020”;

Whereas, Most California community colleges have overcome the technical challenges associated with implementing a “no-cost” designation in their online course schedules and are now seeking to perfect this implementation by ensuring consistency in the criteria used to determine which sections are marked with this designation and establishing procedures to ensure that no qualifying sections are missed;

Whereas, The details of the legislation—i.e., the requirement that sections marked with the no-cost designation be those “that exclusively use digital course materials”—are inconsistent with how “zero textbook cost” had been defined by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and is silent with respect to whether the designation can be used when a student is rqured to purchase tangible supplies (e.g. goggles, a calculator, or paint; and

Whereas, Consistency and transparency across colleges is beneficial to students, faculty, and anyone with an interest in assessing the impact of efforts to reduce textbook costs;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommend that the no-cost designation be used to recognize those sections that use digital resources, as consistent with SB 1359 (Block, 2016), and those sections that require a text yet are “no- cost” due to something other than a digital alternative;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges encourage local academic senates to interpret the SB 1359 (Block, 2016) requirements as in alignment with those established by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for courses that are zero textbook cost (ZTC);

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommend integration of identification of a course section as being no-cost into the existing textbook selection process; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges provide additional guidance and resources related to SB 1359 (Block, 2016) no later than the Fall 2021 Plenary.

MSC

*“Zero-textbook-cost degrees” means community college associate degrees or career technical education certificates earned entirely by completing courses that eliminate conventional textbook costs by using alternative instructional materials and methodologies, including open educational resources. Discretionary student printing of instructional materials shall not be considered a cost as part of this program.