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Z-courses at RVCC

A "z-course" is a course for which there is zero cost for textbooks or course materials. In these courses, students are still required to consult course materials throughout their learning, but those materials are freely available to the students, often through Canvas, library databases or ebook collections, or internet resources. In some cases, a printed version of the materials may be available for purchase from the RVCC Bookstore or can be printed for free or for a small fee from the website where it is published. Your instructor will provide you with more information about how the course materials can be accessed. In certain courses, only specific professors run the course as a z-course. Check the "Instructor" column on the chart for which professors run z-course sections.

There is also a list of low-cost courses for which all course materials cost less than $45/semester.

Check back often! This list will be continuously updated as more faculty adopt open educational resources. Bookmark for quick access.

RVCC Courses that have zero textbook costs

Course Name Course Code Instructors (Last Name) Catalog Description
Human Anatomy & Physiology I BIOL 124 Katsha

Prerequisite(s): Two years of college preparatory laboratory science or equivalent.

This course is an in-depth study of the structure and function of the human body. The course content highlights the chemical, cellular, and tissue levels of organization, and the anatomy and physiology of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. In the laboratory, students will examine anatomical models and preserved specimens, and conduct physiological as well as computer-simulated experiments. Completion of Human Anatomy and Physiology II (BIOL 125) may be required for transfer of credits. The Honors Option is available for this course. (4 credits)

Introduction to Business BUSI 111 All This course examines the fundamental aspects of the business community. Emphasis is placed on business functions as they apply to current business practices. Current events comprise the framework for topic development and class assignments. (3 credits)
Business Law I BUSI 131 All An introduction to the study of law as it relates to society with special emphasis on business applications. General areas covered include an overview of law, court systems and procedure, introduction to legal research, torts, contracts, and agency. This course is also based on a broader premise that the law is worthy of the study and respect of all educated persons irrespective of discipline. (3 credits)
Business Law II BUSI 132 All

Prerequisite(s): BUSI 131 Business Law I.

This course surveys the legal environment of business and covers employment, real estate, commercial paper, personal property, bailments, sales, and business organizations.  Service Learning opportunities offered. (3 credits)

Speech COMM 101 Kinebrew-Bosa

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.

Speech is a “hands-on” course in which students learn public speaking by preparing and delivering oral presentations. The course emphasizes two important components of effective public speaking: selecting and organizing good material for speeches, and developing good presentation skills. It helps students enhance their speeches by using visual aids, such as flip charts and PowerPoint slides, effectively. The course also helps students develop strategies for managing anxiety about public speaking. (3 credits)

Education Field Experience EDUC 230 All

Prerequisite(s): EDUC 212 - Foundations of Education and Grade of B or higher in ENGL 050 - Introduction to College Reading & Composition I or Grade of B or higher in ENGL 060 - Introduction to College Reading & Composition II or appropriate score on placement test.

This course provides opportunities for the observation, analysis, and guided interaction of the teaching/learning experience within the elementary, middle and high school settings. Students are assigned to observe and perform specific teaching duties within a variety of public and private school settings. Psychological, philosophical and historic educational theories are analyzed in light of current best practices as they occur in contemporary classrooms. Students are required to complete 30 hours of assigned field observation over the course of the semester. (3 credits)

English Composition II ENGL 112







Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 English Composition I.

English Composition II is the second in a two-course composition sequence that continues to expand and refine analytical writing and critical reading skills. Students produce a series of documented essays based on a range of fiction and non-fiction sources, focusing on the challenges posed by writing longer essays and using advanced research techniques. (3 credits)

American Literature: Post Civil War to the Present ENGL 222 Chase

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.

American Literature:  Post Civil War to the Present introduces students to a diverse range of American literary works that have been produced from the mid-1860s until the contemporary moment. Students will critically read literary works from representative American literary movements of this time period within their social, political, economic, and aesthetic contexts. Writers may include Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kate Chopin, William Faulkner, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Tennessee Williams, James Baldwin, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, Adrienne Rich, Thomas Pynchon, Art Spiegelman, Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich, Maxine Hong Kingston, Sandra Cisneros, and Tony Kushner. (3 credits)

English Literature: Middle Ages through the Eighteenth Century  ENGL 235 Arvay

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.

A chronological study of English literature through the 18th century including authors such as Chaucer, Kempe, More, Shakespeare, Donne, Montagu, Swift and Behn. Students will examine the authors’ ideas and the development of literary forms in a historical context. Religion, politics, gender roles, science and philosophy are discussed in terms of their impact on these writers. The Honors Option is available for this course. (3 credits)

Cardiovascular Conditioning FITN 132 Bingel

This course introduces the student to program design for cardiovascular training. Students will be taught how to administer and interpret field tests for speed, agility, and cardiovascular endurance and use the information gathered from testing to design an appropriate program to meet the goals of competitive athletes, special populations, and the general population. A variety of training techniques will be introduced along with proper technique, the benefits of warm up and cool down, the science behind effective training. (2 credits)

Pharmacology HLTH 109 Stetson

Prerequisite(s): HLTH 150 - Medical Terminology; BIOL 120 - Human Biology or BIOL 124 - Human Anatomy & Physiology I & BIOL 125 - Human Anatomy & Physiology II.

This course is an introduction to pharmacology, including terminology, drug category, use, side effects, contraindications, and interactions. Common dosage ranges and routes of administration will also be examined. A general understanding of the actions and reasons for use of various groups of pharmacologic agents is introduced. Medications are discussed according to major drug classifications and body systems. (2 credits)

Astronomy PHYS 130 All

Prerequisite: MATH 020-Elementary Algebra.

This course studies periodic changes in the night sky, astronomical instrumentation, the solar system, stars, nebulae and galaxies, and cosmology. Laboratory exercises will utilize simulations and night-sky observations. May be used to fulfill one semester of a laboratory science requirement for non-science majors, or as an elective for science majors. (4 credits) 

The Nature of Science SCIE 101 All

In this course, students will examine the development of scientific theories, and discuss how science is viewed by the public through various forms of media sources.  The use of the scientific method to conduct research and experiments will encourage students to distinguish credible science from false scientific claims.  The importance to society of scientists and citizens making informed decisions on science/technology issues are stressed. (2 credits)

The College Experience STDV 100 All This course examines ways in which students can build the cognitive and non-cognitive skills necessary for success in college and career. Students engage in and utilize independent and collaborative tools and exercises to enhance reading and notetaking, writing, studying and test taking, critical thinking, research, and reflection. Enhanced skills are applied to current and future personal, academic and career exploration and readiness experiences.  Students engage in the college experience as intentional learners who are empowered to persist for personal and collective outcomes. (2 credits)


Low-cost Courses

Courses on this list require course materials that cost less than $45/semester. Some materials may be used for more than one semester.

Course Name Course Code Instructors  (Last Name) Catalog Description Approx. cost of materials
Plants, Humans & the Environment BIOL 150 All This course explores the relationship between plants, people and the environment. Lectures cover the cultural, economic and political significance of plants to human societies, and the effects of human activities on plants and the environment. Labs provide a first-hand introduction to the current and historical human uses of plants (e.g., food, fuel, shelter, fiber, dyes) in New Jersey and around the world. Students will go on field trips to local natural areas, farms and winery. One weekend field trip is required. (4 credits) $10
General Chemistry I CHEM 103 All

Prerequisite(s): Two years of college preparatory laboratory science or equivalent.
Corequisite(s): MATH 112 - Precalculus I.

This is the first course in a two-course sequence providing an introductory survey of modern chemistry. Emphasis is placed on electronic structure and its relationship to bonding and the periodic table, the physical states of matter, stoichiometry, molecular geometry, gas laws, solutions, and their chemistry. (4 credits)

$44 - Knewton access for 2 years
Introduction to College Reading & Writing ENGL 060



Prerequisite(s): Grade of C in ENGL 050 - Introduction to College Reading and Composition I or appropriate score on placement test.

Introduction to College Reading and Composition II is an intensive and accelerated developmental course designed to provide students with the foundations needed for academic reading and writing. In this integrated reading and writing course students continue to develop a range of strategies for reading different kinds of texts and will practice the stages of the writing process with special attention given to essay organization and sentence structure. This four-credit class meets for four hours each week: two hours in a traditional classroom and two hours in a computer lab. (4 credits)
Less than $25
Introduction to Literature ENGL 201 Felix

Prerequisite: ENGL 111 English Composition I.

Introduction to Literature examines selected essays and works of poetry, fiction, and drama in ways that develop in-depth analytical and critical reading skills. Open to majors and non-majors, the course is designed for students who desire an introduction to literary study. The course requires students to utilize careful textual analysis, to explore thematic connections among and between texts, and to recognize and apply literary terminology in class discussions, papers and examinations. (3 credits)

Less than $25
Race in American Literature and Popular Culture ENGL 214 Gaffney

Prerequisite: ENGL 111 English Composition I.

This course examines the social construction of race in the US through the lens of American literature and popular culture. It focuses on key moments in American history, from seventeenth-century colonial America to the present, to explore how racial categories have been created and re-created. Students will analyze the evolution of these racial categories, like white, black, Asian, Latino, and Native American, while exploring how racial groups are pitted against each other and how categories like gender, class, and sexuality intersect with race. Readings from a range of disciplines will provide students with the historical and social context necessary to analyze cultural texts, like novels, short stories, advertisements, films, political cartoons, TV shows, songs, and speeches. (3 credits)

Less than $30

Environmental Field Study

ENVI 201 Kelly  Stander

Prerequisite(s): ENVI 101 - Environmental Studies and 12 hours of laboratory science .

An interdisciplinary study of research and field methods related to the science of environmental issues. Students will develop basic scientific research skills, from literature review to report preparation, and will gain hands-on experience with various types of field methods and applications, ranging from soil, air, and water quality analysis, to environmental restoration and planning, using remote sensing and GIS. Regular class trips, including visits to wastewater treatment plant, recycling center, and environmental restoration sites. One weekend field trip required. (3 credits)

Less than $20
Art of the Movies: Film Appreciation and Analysis FILM 101 Bosa Art of the Movies: Film Appreciation and Analysis is an introduction to film as a contemporary art form. It emphasizes close observation and analysis of essential film language, specifically mise en scene, camera and editing techniques, lighting, and the cinematic use of sound. Screenings for this course include a broad range of films and film excerpts representing different time periods, cultures, and cinematic traditions. Students record their reactions to films in weekly journal entries or short response papers. Students who complete this course will have a deeper understanding and appreciation of movies. (3 credits) $40 for e-text and interactive media