Zero Cost Course Materials

Zero Cost Course Materials (ZCCM)


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where did ZCCM come from?

California Legislation: SB 1359: Public postsecondary education: course materials legislation states:

Each campus of the California Community Colleges and the California State University shall, and each campus of the University of California is requested to, do both of the following:

  • Clearly highlight, by means that may include a symbol or logo in a conspicuous place on the online campus course schedule, the courses that exclusively use digital course materials that are free of charge to students and may have a low-cost option for print versions.

  • Clearly communicate to students that the course materials used for the courses identified pursuant to paragraph (1) are free of charge and therefore not required to be purchased.

Who is required to implement SB 1359 and when?

All California Community Colleges (CCCs) and California State Universities (CSUs) must implement this legislation. The deadline to implement this designation in course schedules is January 1, 2018.

How will this appear in SF State online course schedule(s) and the SF State app? And when does it go into effect?

  • Students may search for ZCCM sections by using the Course Attribute field in the Advanced Class Search.
  • Effective January 1, 2018, all ZCCM courses will also be identified by the ZCCM logo in the class schedule (and wherever students go to search for courses and register).
  • The ZCCM logo is in use throughout the CA CCC and through much of the CSU system.

What is considered ZCCM content?

  • Open educational resources
  • Library resources
  • Public domain resources
  • Faculty-created materials

What if a course requires students to purchase materials other than textbooks, for example calculators, safety goggles, theater tickets, etc.?

The ZCCM designation cannot be used if students are required to purchase any materials.

What about low cost (as opposed to zero cost) course sections? Will those be identified?

This is not required by the legislation and it is up to each individual campus. At this time, SF State is only implementing the required ZCCM attribute.

If the instructor for the section is changed just prior to the beginning of the term, and the previously assigned instructor indicated that the course section was ZCCM, is the new instructor bound by the original designation?

No, the new instructor is not bound by the original designation, but they do need to coordinate with their department scheduler (AOC) to ensure that the ZCCM attribute is removed in a timely manner if they do not choose to use zero cost materials.

What if there is no instructor assigned to a course section at the time the course schedule is published?

If no instructor is assigned to a course, the ZCCM designation should not be used unless it is a departmental decision for course materials in multi-section courses.