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Making the Case for ZTC: Pathways to Equity (24SP-ZTCEQUITY-1)

Ended Feb 24, 2024
2 credits

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Full course description


This course explores the fundamental connections between equity, Open Educational Resources (OER), Guided Pathways (GP), and Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) pathways. You will employ an equity cognitive frame to examine the impact of textbook costs on student success, and the disproportionate impact on historically underserved students. You will also dig into the growing research on OER efficacy, consider the "what" and "why" of Guided Pathways, and review successful ZTC pathways, across the state and beyond. You will leave this course understanding how OER and ZTC pathways promote student success and reduce equity gaps, supporting the Vision for Success of the California Community Colleges.


  • Define equity
  • Describe community college student demographics and the "true costs" of college
  • Identify opportunity gaps in higher education
  • Describe Hispanic-Serving Institutions and the concept of "servingness"
  • Differentiate between equity and deficit cognitive frames
  • Define OER and the 5 Rs
  • Describe why educators and students use OER
  • Identify the impacts of textbook costs, particularly for historically underserved students
  • Identify the defining principles & shared vocabulary associated with Guided Pathways (GP)
  • Examine approaches to GP at California Community Colleges
  • Examine shared "aspirations" for the GP student experience
  • Describe ZTC pathways
  • Examine case studies and examples of successful ZTC programs
  • Identify connections between ZTC, student success, equity, and GP


  • Fulfills: This introductory course is designed for those developing ZTC pathway programs at California community colleges.
  • Duration: 4 weeks
  • Time Commitment: Approximately 36 hours
  • Pre-requisite: None
  • Level of Difficulty: Beginning

Optional Graduate-Level University Credit

Participants in this course can seek optional graduate-level university credits through Fresno Pacific University. A separate fee due to FPU will apply.  To learn more, visit the FPU @ONE Online Courses page