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The Cougars Affordable Learning Materials Program (CALM) is part of the CSU Affordable Learning Solutions initiative started in 2010. CALM aims to aid faculty in replacing costly textbooks with lower cost alternatives by using high-quality, open education

Report Your Zero Cost Course Materials

Zero-Cost Course Materials Symbol

Have you already been teaching a Zero Cost Course Materials class? 

If so, please report this using the form below so that we can ensure that the ZCCM symbol appears for students when registering for their classes!

Identifying courses that have zero textbook and materials costs in the course schedule is required by California state law (SB1359). 

ZCCM ID for Course Schedule: Guidance for Instructors

Zero Cost Course Material (ZCCM) Identification

for the CSUSM Course Schedule

California Senate Bill 1359 requires CSU campuses to clearly identify on the online campus course schedule the courses that exclusively use digital course materials that are free to students.  Bookstore data will be used to identify courses that will have the ‘Zero Cost Course Material’ (ZCCM) logo visible in the course schedule. 

Guidance for Instructors

CSUSM’s Library and Bookstore will use Bookstore required textbooks data to identify ZCCM courses that are zero cost because all required materials are either open, free, or available through the Library. 

Instructors are encouraged to submit information about their assigned textbooks to the Bookstore as soon as it is known for the subsequent term even if a Library-provided resource, open/free resources, or no textbook is being used. 

  • Fall textbook orders are typically due in April the preceding Spring 
  • Spring textbook orders are typically due in Late October the preceding Fall  

While course assignments are not always known by these deadlines, the earlier textbook information is submitted to the bookstore the more likely the course schedule will accurately reflect ZCCM course offerings. 

Course sections will show the ZCCM symbol if any of the following conditions are met: 

  • The course section has “No Text Required” reported to the Bookstore AND do not contain a section note that indicates “Other Materials Required” 
    • Courses that require that students purchase any supplies, lab equipment, specialized software, or other materials should use the “Other Materials Required” section note as these courses will not show the ZCCM symbol. 
  • The course section has the section note: “Zero Cost Course Materials” 
  • The instructor has contacted the CALM team ( to identify the course as Zero Cost Course Materials. 

If you don't know if your assigned book is available through the Library, submit assigned textbooks to the bookstore as you normally would. The Library will identify all assigned books that will be freely available through the Library’s collection in unlimited use ebook format for the following semester and purchase ebooks where possible.  

Textbook information submitted to the Bookstore after the deadline will be reviewed by the Library to identify freely-available copies on a rolling basis beginning 4-6 weeks before the start of each Semester through the first 2 weeks of the Semester. A weekly report from PeopleSoft will also be generated during this time to ensure data accuracy between what the Bookstore is reporting and what is shown in the Course Schedule. 

Instructors that notice a ZCCM attribute in the course schedule for a course that is not zero-cost, please email the CALM team to correct any errors.

If you are interested in identifying a Library resource or open/free textbook alternative or have any questions about the Zero Cost Course Materials attribute, contact