Zero Textbook Cost Courses

To increase college access and completion rates by reducing prohibitive textbook costs, New York State has invested $16 million to promote use of Open Education Resources (OER) in the CUNY and SUNY systems. At CUNY SPS faculty and instructional designers are working hard to convert courses that currently use expensive textbooks to ZTC (Zero Textbook Cost) sections. The number of ZTC sections offered by the School has grown from 35 sections in Spring 2017 to 178 sections offered in Winter/Spring 2020, saving CUNY SPS students over a half million dollars. Instead of publisher’s textbooks, ZTC courses use a mix of OER textbooks, links to scholarly and professional websites, resources from CUNY library databases, and multimedia lectures created by CUNY SPS professors.

In Fall 2019, 88% of General Education sections at CUNY SPS are ZTC sections. Additional course conversions are planned to launch in Spring 2020.

It is now possible to complete the Communication & Media undergraduate degree program without ever purchasing a textbook, a “Z Degree.”

Zero Textbook Cost Sections