Twenty-six community colleges received Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) Degree implementation grants from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. Eliminating the cost of textbooks removes a major barrier to student access and learning. Grantees were also interested in how ZTC degree pathways can address the critical issue of student equity. With this in mind, the ZTC Degree Technical Assistance team has developed four major strategies to promote and measure the link between ZTC degree pathways and equity.
-Collect student outcome data for pathway courses and disaggregate by demographics to better understand the effects on all students.
-Develop the ZTC Degree Equity Champion network to provide a community of practice, coursework, and training materials to promote awareness among students and faculty and linkages with student equity and guided pathways initiatives on campus.
-Promote ZTC Degrees through summits, conference events, and marketing materials to drive awareness and build relationships with the statewide academic senate and the other public higher education systems.
-Develop a course that ties Open Educational Resources to Student Equity, and Guided Pathways to ZTC Degrees.
Panelists will share lessons learned in pursuing these strategies and invite the audience to engage in a critical interrogation of how ZTC degrees can be implemented to ensure access and equity without creating new barriers. Four specific questions will be posed and the audience will be invited to participate through an online polling system.
-How do you inform students of the pathway programs?
-Do you focus on instructional material development or aim to enact change throughout the institution?
-How does an institution create a schedule that part-time and full-time students can both follow while respecting faculty autonomy?
-How do open educational practices inform teaching practice and engage students as co-creators of their learning?
• Be able to identify the stakeholders on campus needed for building a ZTC degree program.
• Link ZTC degrees and open education to student equity initiatives.
• Understand how ZTC degrees support the Board of Governor’s Vision for Success.