Advocate for Development of a ZTC Data Element

Spring 2021; Resolution Number: 11.02

Whereas, California Education Code §66406.9 requires that each of the California community colleges “(1) (A) Clearly highlight, by means that may include a symbol or logo in a conspicuous place on the online campus course schedule, the courses that exclusively use digital course materials that are free of charge to students and may have a low-cost option for print versions,” a legislated mandate for which little guidance has been provided;

Whereas, Resolution 9.01 F20 established that the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommends that the no-cost designation required by Education Code §66406.9 be used to recognize sections that use digital resources and sections that require a textbook yet are no-cost due to something other than a digital alternative, effectively aligning the requirements of the legislation and with those established by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for courses that are zero textbook cost;

Whereas, California Code of Regulations Title 5 §59404 mandates that districts that require students to “provide instructional materials for a course shall adopt policies or regulations” that “shall direct instructors to take reasonable steps to minimize the cost and ensure the necessity of instructional materials”; and

Whereas, No mechanisms presently exist for gathering data regarding local efforts to reduce the cost of instructional materials, confirming or encouraging compliance with Education Code 66406.9, or assessing compliance with Title 5 §59404;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges collaborate with appropriate constituent groups and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to implement a management information system course section data element that, at a minimum, is used to identify course sections that have no associated instructional materials costs;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges support the establishment of a course section data element that, at a minimum, differentiates between sections requiring purchase of a textbook or other instructional materials including those requiring purchase of an access code and all instances when a printed resource is required and not provided, those sections that are zero textbook cost (ZTC) due to the use of no- cost open educational resources, those that are ZTC but the resources have a cost that is not passed on to students, those that use no textbook, and those that are low-cost as defined locally;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges encourage the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to make a proposed course section data element field regarding zero textbook cost materials available as soon as possible and include an appropriate timeline for its required use; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges support actions by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to encourage early adoption of a proposed data element regarding zero textbook cost materials, such as requiring its use in order to access zero textbook cost funding.