Zero Textbook Cost Courses

To increase college access and completion rates by reducing prohibitive textbook costs, New York State has provided funding to promote the 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 245 sections offered in Spring 2021, saving CUNY SPS students over $1,300,000 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.

CUNY SPS is home to CUNY’s first bachelor’s “Z Degrees: it is now possible to complete the Communication & Media and Sociology undergraduate degree programs without ever purchasing a textbook. In addition, in Spring 2021, 92%of General Education sections at CUNY SPS are ZTC sections. Additional course conversions and Z Degrees are planned to launch later this year.

Zero Textbook Cost Sections

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.