Zero Textbook Cost Courses

The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) is at the forefront of a CUNY-wide initiative to save students money on textbooks by offering Zero Textbook Cost online courses (Z sections) using Open Education Resources (OER) rather than traditional textbooks.

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 149 sections offered in Winter/Spring 2019. Instead of publisher’s textbooks, Zero-Textbook Cost 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 Winter session and Spring 2019, 84% of General Education sections at CUNY SPS will be ZTC sections. Additional course conversions are planned to launch in Summer and Fall 2019.

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

Zero Textbook Cost Section