ZTC (Zero-Textbook-Cost) classes have no textbook-related costs, including access fees for online materials. Such classes often use Open Educational Resources (OER) created under a Creative Commons (a public copyright license) that give people the ability to share, use, and build upon a work that has been created. They may also use library ebooks or other sources so there is no cost to the student.

Please talk to a college counselor about which courses are in the ZTC pathway for your planned certificate/degree.


Saddleback College faculty have adopted and created OER to provide high-quality educational materials to you at no cost online, and low-cost print options.

NOTE: Please be aware that there might be other fees associated with the course, e.g., calculator, safety goggles, etc.

Earn a Degree Without Purchasing One Textbook

Saddleback offers many ZTC degrees and certificates. This means that students can earn a degree or certificate in one of the following programs without buying one textbook. NOTE: Please talk to a college counselor about which courses are in the ZTC pathway for your planned certificate/degree.

  • American Sign Language AS
  • Anthropology AAT
  • Astronomy AS
  • Child and Adolescent Development AAT
  • Associate Teacher Level 1 CA
  • Cinema-Television-Radio AS
  • Cinema-Television-Radio CA
  • Cinema-Television-Radio Career Skills CA
  • Communication Studies AAT
  • Dance AA
  • Economics AAT
  • Economics AA
  • English Literature AA
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies AA
  • History AAT
  • History AA
  • Liberal Studies AA
  • Music Production Entrepreneurship CA
  • Music Production OSA
  • Physics AST
  • Physics AS
  • Psychology AAT
  • Political Science AAT
  • Sociology AAT
  • Studio Arts AAT
  • Travel and Tourism - AS
  • Travel and Tourism - CA
  • Aging Studies CA
  • Aging Studies Interdisciplinary CA
  • AA General Studies- Arts & Humanities
  • AA General Studies - Natural Sciences
  • AA General Studies - Social and Behavioral Sciences)
  • General Education CSU GE Certificate of Achievement
  • General Education IGETC Certificate of Achievement
  • General Education Local Associates Certificate of Achievement

Frequently Asked Questions

On the class schedule, select the “Zero Textbook Cost” option at the top of the page.

Your OER textbook may be sent as a PDF, be made available on a website, or embedded into the course within Canvas. Check with the instructor of the course for more information.

You may print a copy of the material for yourself but check with your instructor for options.

If you have further questions or would like more information on the ZTC courses, you can visit the ZTC Work Group page to learn more about the program.

Student Testimonials

ZTC Ashley L.

The biggest benefits of the ZTC courses were the cost savings and the accessibility. When you’re enrolling for classes you’re a little hesitant because the textbook costs serve as a hurdle. The ZTC materials are definitely more accessible than textbooks. You can access them on your phone wherever you are. I don’t need to bring a book with me. You can get to topics you want quickly because it’s all organized for you. The information in my economics materials was up to date and included charts and graphics to help you understand the concepts.

Ashley L.
ZTC Courses Taken: English 1BH – Honors Principles of Composition II Economics 4 – Principles (Micro)
ZTC Michael H.

This past fall I found the ZTC tab in the Class Schedule and I found that lots of courses were being offered with ZTC. I was very surprised with how inclusive the materials were in terms of content. One course (the material) was offered as a PDF while other courses provided a full-fledged digital textbook. The materials included study guides, quick quizzes and being digital, I could use the search function to find a specific thing. The ZTC courses leave more money in your pocket for food, gas, etc. Sometimes a textbook can be more expensive than the class. One of the textbooks for a non-ZTC class was around $200. I was able to take an extra class with the money I saved from enrolling in a ZTC course instead.

Michael H.
ZTC Courses Taken: Economics 2H – Honors Principles of Macroeconomics Economics 4 – Principles (Micro) English 25 – Introduction to Literature
Satanai A.

I was really happy that I was able to save money and still receive a quality education with the ZTC classes. Money, for me, is the biggest factor, I was able to save money and still receive a quality education on top of that. The materials were up to date and featured a lot of recent information which is important for the political science and sociology classes.

Satanai A.
ZTC Courses Taken: Political Science 1 – American Government Sociology 2 – Social Problems