Ensure Compliance with Required Instructional Materials Regulations

Spring 2021; Resolution Number: 11.04

Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has urged local academic senates to recommend to faculty that they consider the cost of books as one of the criteria in book selection (Resolution 09.07 SP 93), and 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”;

Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has urged local academic senates to review any existing policies regarding the use of e-instructional materials or develop policies regarding e-instructional materials as necessary to encourage instructors to carefully consider their responsibilities in assessing, communicating about, and grading student work effectively before adopting electronic systems that claim to easily replace or replicate this crucial work of faculty (Resolution 19.02 F 11);

Whereas, Modifications in 2012 to Title 5 §59404 District Policies and Regulations for Instructional Materials were intended to permit faculty to require students to purchase instructional materials that were not “tangible” under specified circumstances; and

Whereas, Efforts to reduce the costs of instructional materials have increased the availability of electronic alternatives to textbooks, including automatic billing options, that may not comply with existing regulations and have other negative consequences for students;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges encourage local academic senates to review, revise, and implement their district policies or practices that “shall direct instructors to take reasonable steps to minimize the cost and ensure the necessity of instructional materials” to ensure that they are effective and take steps to ensure that all faculty are informed of the requirements1 established in California Code of Regulations Title 5 §59400; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges collaborate with system partners to provide local academic senates and colleges with guidance for ensuring that they are compliant with the following element of California Code of Regulations Title 5 §59400:

(c)Where instructional materials are available to a student temporarily through a license or access fee, the student shall be provided options at the time of purchase to maintain full access to the instructional materials for varying periods of time ranging from the length of the class up to at least two years. The terms of the license or access fee shall be provided to the student in a clear and understandable manner prior to purchase.