Below are answers to commonly asked questions about the program. Be sure to check this page often for new information and updates.

The planning grant enabled a college to conduct research, professional development, meetings, coordination, and other resources and activities that were required to organize and discuss the components of adapting/creating a zero textbook cost degree/career technical education certificate.

The implementation grant provided funding to the college to implement a zero textbook cost degree/career technical education certificate pathway after the planning process was completed.

The acceleration grant(s) are intended for the development of additional zero textbook cost pathway programs at the college beyond the original ZTC pathway program(s) using the initial planning and implementation grants.

No, but colleges are highly encouraged to apply for funding for additional ZTC program pathways. Colleges need to make decisions for how acceleration grant funds will be spent and do not duplicate existing ZTC pathway programs at the college.
No – the legislation seeks to avoid duplication within a subject matter.
Legislation for the ZTC grant program states that colleges should prioritize the development and implementation of a degree from an existing associate degree for transfer and, to the extent possible, prioritize the adaptation of existing open educational resources through existing open educational resources initiatives, or elsewhere, before creating new content. However, degrees and career technical education certificates that are prepared for conversion to ZTC program pathways should be submitted to maximize student access and support.
No guidelines are currently available. The college should consider developing those degrees or career technical education certificates in which: 1) the college issued the highest number of program awards, and/or 2) those majors that are known to have the highest textbook cost. The CCCCO Datamart is available for all CCCs to view the number of credit program awards issued per college.
All instructional textbooks for the zero textbook cost degree program pathway must be zero-cost. Discretionary student printing of instructional materials shall not be considered a cost as part of this program (e.g. the student chooses to print the open education resource material on their personal printer).
Fees for materials in certain labs are allowed. Examples: materials kits in cosmetology courses/labs or required purchase of googles for a chemistry lab. (drop-in language from student fee handbook)
The governing statute does not directly prohibit non-credit courses, so this falls under the sphere of local control as long as the courses contribute to the completion of a degree or CTE pathway. Enhanced noncredit courses that lead to a non-credit career technical education certificate in the non-credit category of short-term vocational program with potential for high employment (CB22 = I) are eligible for this grant.
No, each program pathway course must have at least one section (major and general education) included in the zero textbook cost degree program pathway that utilizes zero textbook cost instructional material. However, colleges should be striving to maximize the number of course sections available and communicating to students how to identify ZTC course options.
Yes. Although a ZTC section can require students to purchase supplies (other than texts and access to digital resources), colleges should have a process to inform students of these additional expenses and, if possible, establish mechanisms to reduce or remove these costs. A note in the schedule should indicate that the purchase of supplies is required. Also, systems for the loaning of some supplies can be established to assist students to reduce their costs. 
Yes, all open educational resources used in the zero textbook cost degree program pathway must be inputted into the California Digital Open Source Library course sections located at
Consultation with the local Academic Senate can vary from college to college. The CCCCO requests that this process takes place at the local colleges and defers to your local processes for program plans that are to be developed and implemented.  
Yes, funds cannot be used for any capital outlay, facility construction, equipment, or student travel. This not an exhaustive list and may include other items. All expenditures should be reasonable and justifiable for the development and implementation of ZTC program pathways.  
Yes, Continuing Education Centers that have been assigned a Chancellor’s Office MIS College Code can apply for this grant.  
Yes, local CTE Certificates are eligible for this grant. There is no limiting language in the legislative statute that prohibits local CTE programs from becoming ZTC pathways using ZTC Grant program funds. 
A program consists of a sequence of courses (minimum of 2). CTE Certificates of Completion that are Career Development College Preparation (CDCP) programs in the noncredit category of Short-term Vocational Program with Potential for High Employment (CB22 = I) are eligible for this grant. (what would be the evidence to demonstrate that the CDCP program does lead to high employment?) 
No, however, a CTE certificate must have at least two courses to qualify as a “program.”
Yes, the ZTC Program Grant legislation states that a new associate degree or career technical  education certificate program is eligible if it meets one of the following conditions:  1.  has high value in the regional market, 2. meets an emerging regional business industry need, or 3. has high textbook costs.  
Yes.  It is a local decision for how to use ZTC funds as long as the resources are directed toward ZTC program pathway development and implementation. The expenses must be justifiable and reasonable.  
Yes, grant funds can be used for faculty release time to write an OER textbook if necessary to complete a ZTC program pathway.  
The goal of the ZTC Implementation grant is to develop and implement the program pathway by Fall 2025.   ZTC Acceleration grant program pathways must be implemented and available to students by Fall 2026.   
If the college uses textbook-related materials at a cost, then the college is responsible for paying for the materials. If ZTC grant funds are used to pay for these materials, the college’s program plan must address how the college will sustain the zero-cost option of these materials to students after the grant program has ended.  
The e-book can be included in the ZTC program pathway but only if the college continues to pay the subscription fee. The e-book subscription fee is not allowed to be transferred to the student. The legislation requires that the program consider sustainability beyond the life of the grant.  
Yes, because this constitutes a zero-cost option for the student. However, if grant funds are used to pay for these materials, then the grant program plan must address how the college will sustain these materials at zero-cost to students after the grant program has ended.  
Neither has to be OER, but both are required to be zero-cost for students.  
No, because it is not a course offered and administered by the local college.  Therefore, there is no way of assuring the continued zero-cost option for students.   
The goal of the legislation is to ensure the development and implementation of the greatest number of degrees for the benefit of the greatest number of students. As such, determination for additional rounds of program plans or grants will be assessed and decided accordingly.  
The ZTC acceleration program plans became available to submit on August 15, 2023.  ZTC Implementation Grant program plan will be due October 31, 2023. 
No. All ZTC program pathways that were supported by allocation of ZTC program grant funds must be completed and available to students by Fall 2026 per legislative language requirement.