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Purpose of SB 1359

Zero-cost symbol

Senate Bill 1359, (Block, 2016) requires California Community Colleges to include a symbol/logo in the online version of the campus course schedule by January 1, 2018, for courses that exclusively use digital course materials that are free of charge to students and therefore not required to be purchased. The Chancellor’s Office has established a zero textbook cost symbol/logo the community college system has the option to use. Refer to the Chancellor’s Office Open Educational Resources webpage for more program information.

What is SB 1359?

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

Section 1. Section 66406.9 is added to the Education Code to read:

(a) 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:

(1) (A) 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.

(B) The course materials described in subparagraph (A) may include open educational resources, institutionally licensed campus library materials that all students enrolled in the course have access to use, and other properly licensed and adopted materials. Each campus of the California State University, each participating campus of the University of California, and each community college district shall ensure that these materials comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.) and the federal Copyright Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-553).

(2) 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.

(b) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Course schedule” is a collection of available classes, course sections, or both, published electronically, before the start of an academic term.
(2) “Open educational resources” are high-quality teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license, such as a Creative Commons license, that permits their free use and repurposing by others, and may include other resources that are legally available and free of cost to students. “Open educational resources” include, but are not limited to, full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, faculty-created content, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.
(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2018.

SEC. 2. If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.


Can you define an online course schedule?

A variety of online course schedules are utilized by our campuses.  Some are using the schedules built into their Student Information Systems (SIS) and others use an additional product for their online course schedules.
Some campus course schedules are updated daily, and some are static. We recommend the students have access to the most updated information as possible.

2.  What courses need to be designated as ZTC (Zero Textbook Cost) in the class schedule?

The ZTC symbol is required only for those courses where the cost of the textbook is zero dollars.

3. What if a course has an online zero-cost text but students have the option to pay to have it duplicated?

This is still a ZTC section and should be designated as such since students have the option of accessing the text completely online.

4.  What if a course has an online lab manual written by the instructor but all students are required to duplicate the manual for use in class?

In this case, there is a cost for students, so the ZTC designation would not be used.

5.  If a course's texts or materials are low cost, do we use the ZTC designation?

No, the ZTC designation is only for courses that have zero textbook cost.

6. What if a course section has been designated as ZTC but the instructor leaves and a new instructor takes over that section?  Is that new instructor required to keep the section as ZTC?

A good-faith effort will be made to keep the section as ZTC.
The dean in consultation with the department chair attempting to staff the class with a new instructor will make every effort to keep the class as ZTC, especially if students have already begun to register for that section under the assumption that there will be no costs for textbooks. 

7Are the CA CCCs and/or the CSUs required to follow SB 1359?

Yes.  Both systems, CCCs and CSUs, must implement this legislation.

8. When do we have to have this done by?

SB 1359 requires we designate appropriate course sections by January 1, 2018.