A Look at ‘Zero-Textbook-Cost’ Alternatives for Community Colleges

A proposal in California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2020-21 budget would add $10 million to create more Zero-Textbook-Cost (ZTC) certificates at the state’s community colleges.

College textbooks are generally expensive since publishers release new editions each year, according to Alex Neal, CEO of Campusbooks.com, as quoted in the New York Post. Publishers do not make a profit from the used book market and the new edition sometimes voids the previous edition sold at an overpriced rate.

Many community colleges offer some classes that use “open education resources” to reduce costs. These resources allow educators to freely use and reproduce course readings, tests, videos, and full textbooks without fear of violating copyright restrictions.

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