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Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$)

A guide to Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) at California State University - Dominguez Hills (CSUDH).

ZCCM Material Costs in the Schedule FAQ:

As a result of California Senate Bill 1359, each campus of the California Community Colleges and the California State University shall “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 version”. In our online schedule, CSUDH will use 2 designations:

CSUDH uses the section course attribute ZCCM to designate the course has $0 required costs.

zccm symbol

CSUDH uses the section course attribute LCCM to designate the course has $40 or less in required costs.

LCCM symbol arrow pointing down with dollar sign inside

Included in the course materials cost: traditional and electronic books or access codes, course packets, art supplies, lab coats, goggles, yoga mats, graphing calculators, subscriptions, and anything else beyond standard school supplies that students need to purchase.

CSUDH has an Academic Policy, AA 2017-17, that addresses this bill. 

Optional costs should not be included your calculation. 
For example: you provide students with a link to a free, online version of your materials but give them the option to purchase materials in print. The cost of optional print materials should not be included in your calculation. However, if the print version is required in your class, you should include that cost in your calculation.

If a text is used across multiple courses in a sequence DO NOT base your calculation on the cost divided by those courses. 
For example, a text that costs $120 that is required for 3 sequenced courses DOES NOT meet the $40 or under label requirement.
Not all students take all courses in a series.
Students may take courses over time and may have to pay for edition changes.
Students must pay the $120 and cannot budget for 3 even payments.

Only identify courses that meet these cost-cap requirements ($0 or $40 or under)

By default, classes that do not meet one of these two cost caps will not be designated (same as now). Schedule-builders will have the new ability to call out courses that meet one of these two material cost caps in the online schedule, but all other courses will remain unmarked by default.

Q: What if my text is available as an e-book through the University library?
If your required text is available as a free-to-students ebook through the University Library AND is licensed as "unlimited simultaneous access" as required to be designated as ZCCM by 4.1.1 of AA 2017-07, as long as you don’t require the printed text in your class, your course can qualify for the $0 cost designation. However, in this case, the text should not be listed as “required” through the bookstore’s site, because students may assume they must purchase it. Consider listing the text as “optional” on the bookstore’s site and messaging students about their choices before the term begins.

Q: What if I don’t require any texts or “outside” materials for my class?
Your course CAN qualify for the $0 designation if no “outside” materials or texts are required. For the purposes of these cost designations, it doesn’t matter if you are using instructor-created materials, activities, slides, websites, library materials, etc. Apply the question: does my course have any text or publisher-related costs? If the answer is no, the course meets the $0 designation. 

Q: What if I am unsure about the cost of my materials?
Consult Ángel Covarrubias, Bookstore textbook manager for guidance. If you are still unsure about whether your course meets the designation at the registration deadline, DO NOT ask your schedule-builder to designate your course. 

Q: 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/coordinator to ensure that the ZCCM attribute is removed in a timely manner if they do not choose to use zero cost materials.

Q: 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 or LCCM designation should not be used unless it is a departmental decision for course materials in multi-section courses.

Q: 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.

Q: What if I post or handout PDF’s? Do I need to give this information to the Bookstore?

Yes. They can be listed in the same place where you would normally place your textbook order.

Q: What if I have copyright questions?

If you have copyright questions regarding any of your materials you use in class, contact the CSUDH Bookstore.

What about other institutions?

Institution Designation description State
Oregon Coast Community College 2 levels- “no cost” and “low cost” <$40 in online schedule. Implemented fall 2016. Oregon
Columbia Gorge Community College 1 designation logo for <$50
Implemented 2014 
Maricopa Community College System 1 designation <$40 Searchable in online schedule. See “more search options” and select Math as a subject for example. Arizona
Tacoma & Spokane Community Colleges 2 designation levels “low cost” and “OER” searchable in the online schedule. Washington
CSU Northridge 2 designation levels "low cost" $50 and "zero cost"  California
Sacramento State 2 designation levels "low cost" $40 and "zero cost" California


cc by iconsCreated by CSUDH AL$ Steering Committee, based on “Material costs in the schedule FAQ” created by PCC OER Steering Committee