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Textbook Affordability and Open Educational Resources (OER)

This guide is an introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) and efforts to lower student textbook and course material costs at CCC.

What is an LCT (Low-cost text) course?

At CCC, low-cost text (LCT) courses have a required course material cost of $40 or less. CCC empowers students to lower their out-of-pocket education costs by clearly identifying courses with low-cost course materials in both printed and online course schedules:

LCT designation in CCC course schedule.

Included in the calculations for required course material cost are: required textbooks and other text-based materials, workbooks, lab manuals, online homework software (e.g. MyMathLab, etc.), and access codes or publisher-provided curricular materials for students. 

Excluded from the cost calculations are: printing costs, art supplies, calculators, software, course and student fees, equipment, and optional or recommended materials.

Printed course schedule disclaimer: Clackamas Community College makes every effort to be sure the low-cost courses identified in this printed schedule are accurate at the time of publication. However, please review the online schedule or contact the course instructor for the most up-to-date information on textbook & material costs.


Each course is treated individually. If your course materials cost over $40, it does not qualify for LCT designation even if those course materials are used in other courses. The reasoning behind this is as follows: 1) students cannot purchase the textbook on a payment plan over three terms (thus lowering the cost for each term), 2) there is no guarantee the student will take all the courses 3) there is no guarantee that the text will not change/update between terms. State policy is explicit in its exclusion of this multi-term-same-textbook scenario.

LCT calculations use the highest price option listed with the bookstore. If your students' only option for purchasing the text/materials in the bookstore is under $40, then it is considered LCT. If the bookstore is selling new copies that cost more than $40, then it is not, even if the rental costs less than $40.

LCT designation is determined by the cost of required materials/texts. Any optional or recommended materials are not considered when determining LCT. In order to keep overall costs lower for your students, it is your responsibility to educate your students about lower-cost options. Consider sharing a list of lower-cost options for variable-cost course material with your students.

If students can sign up for the lab without the lecture course, then it can qualify for the LCT designation. But, if the lecture is a “pre req” or “co req” and the text is more than $40, it is not an LCT course. Labs taken in conjunction with theory courses are to be included in the theory course designation.

Students should be able to make informed decisions regarding the cost of their education. In fact, Oregon HB 2919 sets expectations for public institutions of higher education to provide students with projected course material costs at the time of registration. At the same time, students are (advised to be) deliberate as they sign up for their courses based on program requirements and career choices (Guided Pathways). Students' selection of courses across departments tends to be primarily driven by curricula/degree/career interest considerations rather than textbook costs, but it is important for students with financial considerations that they are able to make the best decision for their circumstance.

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