Campus Zero Textbook Cost Program grows to include over 40 percent of faculty


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CRC encouraged professors to make their classes zero textbook cost and here are the results so far.

Cosumnes River College’s Zero Textbook Cost and Open Educational Resources Program has made significant progress in the year since the program started.
College President Ed Bush and OER Project Lead Andi Adkins-Pogue started working in August 2021 on a program that would transition CRC into a ZTC campus. The program’s designed to give professors more freedom over their teaching material and relieving financial stress from students, Bush said.
“Many of our students live in poverty or low-income households and struggle to get textbooks. This program can help remove that cost barrier,” Adkins-Pogue said.
Adkins-Pogue said the feedback from students about the program has been overwhelmingly supportive and that students are very appreciative of it.
Bush said CRC students in ZTC classes have saved over $1 million in textbook costs during the Spring 2022 semester.
Bush also said ZTC classes had a higher enrollment rate than non-ZTC classes and that the ZTC classes were showing early indications of more success.
The program is also helping professors access Creative Commons Licenses, which help them customize their curriculum while still working within the copyrights of the material.
Biology Professor Eric Neff made the switch to ZTC this semester and shared some of the changes he’s made in his class.
“I was able to utilize a lot more resources out of a textbook to integrate into my classroom where I tell students, ‘hey, the foundation of the course is built on this textbook, but I have so many resources piled up on top of it that you can go to,’” Neff said.
Neff said he’s hoping that when online textbooks reach the same quality as published textbooks, students will be able to use them as resources throughout their education.
So far, more than 40% of full-time professors have made their classes free textbook classes and Bush is hoping that more than half of CRC professors will have made the switch by the end of the fall 2022 semester and eventually make CRC a campus that only provides free textbooks.
“If we’re able to do this at CRC, we’ll be the only college in the nation that will be zero cost textbook throughout the institution,” Bush said.