Instructional Materials Fee
Board Policy 3031
Education Code Section 76365, 79121, and 81458;
Title 5 Sections 59400 et seq.
The District has a strong commitment to ensuring accessibility to all its programs and services for residents of the District who are capable of benefiting from the experiences provided. As an important component of this “open door” policy, the District actively promotes low cost education for District residents. Where consumable items, supplies, or special services are necessary to enhance the educational experiences of students, the District is compelled to make reasonable charges to the students to assist in defraying the costs of providing these items, supplies, or special services.
Students may be required to provide instructional materials required for a credit or non-credit course. Such materials shall be of continuing value to a student outside of the classroom setting and shall not be solely or exclusively available from the District.
Required instructional materials shall not include materials used or designed primarily for administrative purposes, class management, course management or supervision.
Where instructional materials are available to a student temporarily through a license or access fee, the student shall be provided options at the time of purchase to maintain full access to the instructional materials for varying periods of time ranging from the length of the class up to at least two years. The terms of the license or access fee shall be provided to the student in a clear and understandable manner prior to purchase.
Instructors shall take reasonable steps to minimize the cost and ensure the necessity of instructional materials.
The District will publish these procedures in each College catalog.
“Required instructional materials” means any materials which a student must procure or possess as a condition of registration, enrollment or entry into a class; or any such material which the instructor determines is necessary to achieve the required objectives of a course.
“Solely or exclusively available from the District” means that the instructional material is not available except through the District, or that the District requires that the instructional material be purchased or procured from it. A material shall not be considered to be solely or exclusively available from the District if it is provided to the student at the District’s actual cost; and 1) the instructional material is otherwise generally available, but is provided solely or exclusively by the District for health and safety reasons or 2) the instructional material is provided in lieu of other generally available but more expensive material which would otherwise be required.
“Required instructional and other materials which are of continuing value outside of the classroom setting” are materials which can be taken from the classroom setting and which are not wholly consumed, used up, or rendered valueless as they are applied in achieving the required objectives of a course to be accomplished under the supervision of an instructor during class hours.
- Announcement of Fees
All course material fees shall be printed in the class schedule and available on the District’s web-site. Courses with fees will be properly flagged on materials used in the Office of Admissions & Records. A fee statement, including the amounts of the fees, will be included in the college catalog (see Section VI Course Descriptions). The presence of fees on specific courses will also be included in all newspaper and periodical advertising of courses.
- Collection of Fees
Course material fees will be collected with enrollment fees. Once classes have started, students will not be dropped for non-payment of fees. However, registration in subsequent terms will be blocked until such fees are paid.
Students who withdraw from a class with a materials fee will receive a 100% refund through the first two (2) weeks of instruction or a proportional amount of time for a shorter-than-semester class. No refunds will be made after the second week of instruction or proportional amount of time for shorter-than-semester offering. A complete refund for material fees will be made on classes which are canceled by the College. Students will receive a materials fee credit in transferring from one fee class to another, providing the transfer occurs during the first two (2) weeks of class.
Material fees collected will be credited to the General Fund (1000). Divisions will be informed of the amounts of fees collected and these funds will be budgeted and available for appropriate material expenditures.
- Permissive Fees
Instructors may plan enrichment activities (field trips, etc.) for which an additional fee will be charged during the semester. Such activities, however, will not be required of students.
- Fee Structure
The fee structure will be based on current and anticipated expenditures for required instructional and other materials which are of continuing value outside of the classroom setting. The District Office of Educational Services will periodically review these fees and should a revision be necessary, inform the Colleges of any proposed changes.
When required, the District shall make reports to the State Chancellor’s Office concerning instructional materials used in its Colleges.
- Procedure For Requesting Fees
Each Department/Discipline will make their request for instructional material fees to the Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor of Educational Services. Each request will state the intended usage of the materials, the rationale for the need for the materials, the way(s) in which the material relates to the student learning outcomes for the course, the continued value of the material outside the classroom, and comparable cost to students if the materials were purchased commercially. The individual departments, disciplines, and/or faculty member(s) will be responsible for obtaining the necessary materials.
NOTE: These procedures do not pertain to fees for materials, supplies or instruments required as part of acceptance into a program offered in the District, such as cosmetology, nursing, physician assistant, culinary, etc. Those program fees are handled by each individual program. However, some courses within the programs may have materials fees associated with that course and are required as part of registration in the course. In that instance, these procedures would apply.
(This is the policy and/or procedure at the time of printing. Policies and procedures are continually being updated. In order to be sure you have the most recent language, please check the latest online version at: https://www.rccd.edu/bot/Pages/policies.aspx)