Zero Textbook Cost Degree Program

By Ron Oxford, West Hills College Lemoore

Libraries are at the forefront of the Open Education movement around the Nation. California Community Colleges as well are positioned to further OER and Affordable Learning Solutions across the CCC system. Below are some examples of how:

  • Help faculty find and review resources that replace current high cost textbooks.
  • Copyright/open licensing expertise in adoption of educational resources.
  • Expanding equity of access to educational materials by curation.
  • Integrating the library into the classroom using OER—use it as an opportunity to reinforce information & digital literacies.
  • Facilitate access to print copies of OER in the library.
  • Promoting openness in education. Make a stand against publisher textbook price increases

2017/18 CA Zero Textbook Cost Degree Grants:

  • 25 ZTCD Implementation grants will produce a combined 33 certificate and degree programs.
  • Grantees estimate the number of their students served by the 33 programs is 23,373.
  • Estimated average savings per course is $153. Total number of courses is 404.
  • Total textbook savings for a ZTC program is estimated at $1,836/student.
  • Projected savings for the 23,373 students in the 33 certificate and degree programs upon completion is $42,912,828, or an 858% return on investment (ROI) of the original $5,000,000.
  • Zero Textbook Cost Program Focus Areas for Implementation Grants

Board of Governors Vision:

By 2022:

  • Increase by at least 20 percent the number of CCC students annually who acquire associates degrees, credentials, certificates, or specific skill sets that prepare them for an in-demand job. (OER pathways reduce # of drops and withdrawals and increase pass rate)
  • Increase by 35 percent the number of CCC students transferring annually to a UC or CSU. (OER decreases drop rates and therefore increases transfer rate. OER pathways also designate clear pathways for transfer)
  • Decrease the average number of units accumulated by CCC students earning associate’s degrees, from approximately 87 total units (the most recent system-wide average) to 79 total units. (ZTC programs will offer courses in a guided pathway model, directing students to the path and keeping them on the path, thereby reducing the number of units accumulated)
  • Increase the percent of exiting CTE students who report being employed in their field of study, from the most recent statewide average of 60 percent to an improved rate of 69 percent. (OER is being developed in CTE areas)
  • Reduce equity gaps across all of the above measures through faster improvements among traditionally underrepresented student groups, with the goal of cutting achievement gaps by 40 percent within 5 years and fully closing those achievement gaps within 10 years. (High textbook prices disproportionately impact community college students—50% CCC students use financial aid for textbooks)
  • Reduce regional achievement gaps across all of the above measures through faster improvements among colleges located in regions with the lowest educational attainment of adults, with the ultimate goal of fully closing regional achievement gaps within 10 years. (OER levels the playing field for many)

For further information and ideas for how to get involved see: