“It is amazing to be the first accredited institution of higher learning to offer a zero textbook degree,” said Williams. “While we see the obvious benefits for our students, we hope to inspire other faculty and institutions to replicate what we’ve accomplished.”
Launched in fall 2013, TCC’s “Z Degree” – “z” for zero textbook cost – was created to ease the pain of soaring textbook costs for college students. TCC partnered with Lumen Learning, a Portland, Ore.-based company that helps educational institutions integrate open educational resources into their curricula.
“There’s nothing more tragic than to see a student with unlimited potential fail because of lack of course materials. Affordability is one of the reasons students are attracted to the community college. We bring them in with low tuition rates and soon some students are making the difficult decision to buy textbooks or pay the gas bill or rent.”