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.

Woman sitting in a chair introducing Zero Textbook Cost classes.
Remote video URL

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.

  • Advanced Manufacturing CA
  • Advanced Manufacturing AS
  • Aging Studies CA
  • Aging Studies Interdisciplinary CA
  • American Sign Language AS
  • Anthropology AA
  • Anthropology AAT
  • Architecture AS
  • Architecture CA
  • Associate Teacher Level 1 CA
  • Associate Teacher Level 2 CA
  • Astronomy AS
  • Child and Adolescent Development AAT
  • Cinema/Television/Radio AS
  • Cinema/Television/Radio CA
  • Cinema/Television/Radio Career Skills CA
  • Coaching OSA
  • Commercial Music CA
  • Communication Studies 2.0 AAT
  • Communication Studies AAT
  • Costuming CA
  • Dance AA
  • Digital Media Certificate CA
  • Economics AA
  • Economics AAT
  • Early Childhood Education AST
  • English AAT
  • English Literature AA
  • Event Planner OSA
  • Fashion Design AS
  • Fashion Design CA
  • Fashion Merchandising AS
  • Fashion Merchandising CA
  • Fashion Display and Presentation AS
  • Fashion Technology OSA
  • Film, Television, and Electronic Media AST
  • Gender and Sexuality AA
  • Geography AA
  • History AA
  • History AAT
  • Humanities AA
  • Instrumental Studies CA
  • Jazz Composition CA
  • Jazz Studies CA
  • Journalism and New Media CA
  • Journalism AAT
  • Keyboard Studies CA
  • Kinesiology AA
  • Liberal Studies AA
  • Mathematics AST
  • Music AA
  • Music AAT
  • Music Composition CA
  • Music Production OSA
  • Musical Theatre AA
  • Nutrition and Dietetics AST
  • Persian AA
  • Philosophy AA
  • Photography AA
  • Physics AS
  • Physics AST
  • Political Science AA
  • Political Science AAT
  • Psychology AAT
  • Sociology AAT
  • Studio Arts AAT
  • Sustainable Fashion and Social Entrepreneurship OSA
  • Theatre Arts AAT
  • Theatre Arts and Performance and Acting AA
  • Theatre Arts Technical Theatre AAT
  • Theatre Arts Entertainment and Theatre Technology CA
  • Travel and Tourism AA
  • Travel and Tourism CA
  • Visual Display and Presentation CA
  • AA General Studies - Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • AA General Studies- Arts & Humanities
  • AA General Studies - Interdisciplinary Studies
  • AA General Studies - Natural Sciences
  • General Education CSU GE Certificate of Achievement
  • General Education IGETC Certificate of Achievement
  • Associate Degree (local)

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