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 the CUNY School of Professional Studies (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 168 sections offered in Fall 2020, saving CUNY SPS students $800,000 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 2020, 92% of General Education sections at CUNY SPS are ZTC sections. Additional course conversions are planned to launch in 2021.

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

To find Zero Textbook Cost and Low Textbook Cost (textbook cost under $25) sections, search for the Zero Textbook Cost and Low Textbook Cost Attributes in CUNYfirst or CUNY Global Search. See the video above for instructions.

Zero Textbook Cost Sections