Textbook Adoption Process

Submitting your textbook adoption

Please do one of the following options to submit your textbook order:

As a District, we have agreed to the following definitions for ZTC (zero textbook cost) and LTC (low textbook cost) courses:

  • ZTC course sections exclusively use digital and/or other instructional materials that are legally available free of charge to students and the total cost of required instructional materials for the course is $0, with the following clarifications:
    • SB1359, the law that formalizes ZTC tag application, requires that this designation may include:
      • open educational resources;
      • instructor-created content that is curated in Canvas;
      • institutionally licensed campus library materials that all students enrolled in the course have access to use;
      • free-to-access homework and/or coursework platform; and,
      • other properly licensed and adopted materials
    • Print copies for optional purchase will be made available through the College Bookstore whenever possible. The no-cost course material option(s) shall remain available to all students. Classes where materials are digital and free but students are required to print materials are not considered ZTC.
    • Fees to access a software platform to do coursework and/or homework are considered a required "textbook" cost, and the course section would NOT qualify as ZTC, even if the actual textbook is free.
    • If the fees for all  enrolled students can be paid for by another entity (such as a grant, division, etc.), then the course may be designated as ZTC. This must be verified through the Office of Instruction.
      • SMCCCD's Free College Initiative (FCI), in and of itself, does not make a course ZTC, as Cañada courses are not restricted to only FCI-eligible students.
    • Lab materials and other required supplies (e.g. lab coats, kits, tools, scientific calculators, etc.) are not considered a required course material cost. (This is based off of the Title 5 code on 'course materials'.)
    • If a course does not use any materials (i.e. no textbooks, no web-based resources, nor any other materials that are required for the course), then the course cannot be listed as ZTC at this time. (This may change; faculty will be notified of any updates.)
  • LTC course sections use required texts and/or materials that cost a total of $40 or less, with the following clarifications:
    • The LTC designation is based on the cost of new required course materials, not used books or rentals, on pre-tax prices of new course materials in the SMCCCD Bookstores.
    • If students are directed to purchase materials in a place other than a SMCCCD Bookstore, this must be clearly indicated to the Bookstore and in the class syllabus, and communicated to students that the costs are based on pre-tax prices. Please be aware that some financial aid programs (ex., Promise Scholars Program) do not reimburse students directly and they must purchase their items at the Bookstore.
    • The ZTC clarifications (above) related to optional print versions, costs for homework platforms, optional textbooks, and materials fees also apply to LTC. A class that uses free digital materials but requires students to print some of the course materials may be designated as LTC if the print costs can be reasonably expected to be under $40.
    • Some courses that are part of Inclusive Access may qualify to be labeled as LTC if they fall under the $40 threshold for all required materials.

(Note, portions of the above adapted from material from SB 1359, San Bernardino Valley College, Pasadena City College, and MiraCosta College.) 

How do I get my course labeled as ZTC or LTC?

Step 1: Let Jai Kumar (Bookstore Manager) know!

You have ways of indicating this on any of the above-mentioned methods of reporting your adoption. If you are using a series of open-source materials, then please indicate that to Jai as soon as you can via email. This is so that your materials can be verified that they do not infringe on copyright laws and are indeed open-source.

Note: Make sure to tell Jai that your materials can be offered as print-optional. This allows students to use their financial aid funds to purchase print copies as needed.

Step 2: Let Sarah Harmon (OER/ZTC Coordinator) know!

Next, you need to let Sarah know about the course materials that you're using, so that your course can be labeled in WebSchedule accordingly. Please email her the list of materials that you're using. 

  • For OER material: Title, author, and URL of the digital materials. (If you're using a PDF copy, please send it to her.)
  • For Library-based Subscriptions: The permalink that you'll be embedding into the Canvas course shell
  • For public domain (including YouTube or other videos) materials: The links that you'll be embedding into the Canvas course shell listed out (an abbreviated list is fine).
  • For materials that are being purchased by an outside source (e.g. grant, department purchase): Title, author, and how the materials are being paid for.

(If it’s the same ZTC/LTC materials as you used in a prior semester, you don't need to re-submit your list; just indicate that in your email to Sarah.)

Sarah will work with your division assistant to input that information into Banner, which will then display it correctly on WebSchedule.

Step 3: Let your students know!

Finally, don’t forget to put it on your syllabus that your course is using OER, especially if it is ZTC. Students are looking for that information, and we need to be transparent to them about the course. We also need to work these materials into our Canvas course shells, ensuring that students have instant access to them once the course is opened.


Please respect the following deadlines! If there are changes, let Jai know immediately.

  • Summer 2024 adoptions are due March 15, 2024.
  • Fall 2024 adoptions are due April 15, 2024.
  • Spring 2025 adoptions are due October 15, 2024.

These dates are crucial to ensure the best pricing on publisher materials, as well as to allow time to verify OER materials.


If you have questions about any of this, please reach out to: