Z-Degree Classes

Save money while completing your education by enrolling in Z‑degree classes at College of Western Idaho!

  • Designated Z‑degree classes offer zero or low-cost textbooks, making your journey as a student more affordable.
  • All students, regardless of their chosen major, may register for Z-degree classes.
Students in bookstore
Student sitting in the library with a laptop and notebook smiling at the camera

Z-Degree Pathways

In addition to select Z-degree classes, the following programs offer a Z‑degree Pathway with zero or low-cost textbook options for every class required to complete an Associate of Arts degree within that area of study: 

Contact your advisor to discuss options specific to your situation.

Find Your Advisor

Registering for a Z-Degree Class

When registering, classes offering a Z‑degree option will be marked with the icon below. As classes offering a Z-degree option may change throughout the academic year, please refer to Student Planning in myCWI for the most up-to-date information. 

Z-degree icon

20205 Can anyone take a Z-degree class?

Students may register for Z-degree classes regardless of their chosen major and as long as any prerequisites associated with the class are met.

20325 What is a zero-cost textbook?

A zero-cost textbook refers to any textbooks or course materials available to students at no cost, often through Open Education Resources (OER).

  • According to the Idaho State Board of Education, OER are "teaching, learning, and research materials that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license, such as a Creative Commons license, that permits free use and repurposing by others."
  • The majority of classes offered through a Z-degree Pathway have a zero cost option.
  • OER are available to students on the first day of class.
20291 What is a low-cost textbook?

Low-cost textbooks are required textbooks and/or other course materials that cost a total of $30 or less (excluding special course fees) per class and may be purchased at the CWI Bookstore.

20295 Which GEM 3 classes are available with a Z-degree option?

For the Fall 2023 semester, Math 143 College Algebra, Math 147 College Algebra and Trigonometry, and Math 170 Calculus I are the GEM 3 – Mathematical Ways of Knowing classes available with a Z-degree option. Additional classes will be added in the future. Please note, many GEM 3 class options utilize IncludED which can also help save you money.

Contact your advisor to discuss options specific to you and your plan of study.