New Student Admissions
Admissions to Semester Credit Hour Programs
The Austin Community College District maintains an "open door" policy that admits applicants who have earned a high school diploma or general education development (GED) certificate and others under certain conditions. College entrance tests and high school rank are not criteria for acceptance.
Who Is Eligible for Admission
At ACC, admission is open to anyone who meets the following requirements:
- Has earned a high school diploma, certificate of high school completion, or GED.
- Ability to benefit—Students who are beyond the traditional age of high school enrollment (over 18) and can demonstrate skill proficiencies that support an ability to benefit from college-level instruction. Note: "Ability to benefit" applicants must submit a waiver obtained from the Student Services Office on any ACC campus. A campus dean of student services reviews requests for "ability to benefit" with an instructional department chair and makes a recommendation to the director of admissions and records for final approval.
- Early College Start—Students who attend a public, private, charter, or home school within the ACC service area and have successfully completed their sophomore year and can demonstrate they are academically prepared for college-level instruction.
- Be an eligible student enrolled in a Texas Educational Agency-approved Early College High School (ECHS) with freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior high school standing. (Coordinating Board Rule, Section 4.161.)
Prospective students who do not meet any of the categories above should contact the director of admissions and records to discuss criteria for exceptional admissions standards that may be applicable.
Applicants must complete the following steps to begin taking credit classes at ACC. The process varies for Early College Start and international students.
- Complete an ACC application, including residency information, and submit a high school transcript; GED certificate, if applicable; and all college transcripts
- Determine your TSI (Texas Success Initiative) status and schedule an assessment if required. All ACC students, unless exempt or TSI waived, must take an approved test for TSI before enrolling at ACC. Results of these tests will not be a condition of admission but will be used for placement purposes. See the Texas Success Initiative Requirements section of the catalog for additional information
- Complete ACC 101 at austincc.edu/acc101
- Comply with the Texas law for all students under the age of 30 to comply with the Bacterial Meningitis immunization regulation. See the Bacterial Meningitis section of the catalog for additional information
- Meet with an advisor to select classes
- Register when eligible and pay by your deadline listed in the current course schedule
- Complete an orientation session
Note: Admission to ACC does not guarantee enrollment into workforce programs that maintain additional entrance requirements.
Academic Fresh Start
Texas residents may seek admission to any Texas public post-secondary institution based on the "academic fresh start" statute, Texas Education Code 51.931. Based on the statute, ACC applicants may request that the college disregard academic course credits or grades earned 10 or more years before the start of the semester for which they are seeking to be admitted. Applicants must inform the Admissions and Records Office in writing if they wish to elect the "academic fresh start" option. "Academic fresh start" applicants may not receive any semester credit hours for courses taken 10 or more years before admission.
Returning ACC students
ACC does not require current and former students to reapply for admission. However, students must clear any holds placed on their records before re-enrolling. Former students returning to ACC after a year or more are required to:
- Complete a new residency information form
- Update address and major, when applicable; and
- Submit official transcripts from all colleges attended since last enrollment at ACC
Health Sciences Programs
Admission to the following Health Sciences programs is limited to a specific number of candidates because of requirements imposed by accrediting agencies and the availability of faculty, college laboratory, and clinical agency resources:
- Dental Hygiene
- Emergency Medical Services Professions
- Health Information Technology/Medical Coding
- Medical Laboratory Technology
- Nursing (associate degree—R.N.)
- Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Personal Fitness Trainer
- Pharmacy Technician
- Phlebotomy Technician
- Physical Therapist Assistant
- Surgical Technology
- Vocational Nursing (certificate—LVN)
Health Sciences admission requirements vary according to program and may include specific testing, prerequisites, immunizations, and screening, including a criminal background check. Students seeking information for any Health Sciences program should contact the Health Sciences Information and Admissions Office, Eastview Campus, Building 8000, Room 8356; phone (512) 223.5700 or Round Rock Campus, Building 3000, Room 3105, phone (512) 223.0220.
Note: After publication of the ACC Catalog, changes in Health Sciences programs' degree plan, including prerequisite and co-requisite course requirements, may occur in order to comply with program approval or accreditation standards and to ensure students' success upon enrollment in the program. For current program information contact the Health Sciences office or visit austincc.edu/health.
Reporting Changes in Name, Address, Social Security Number, or Major
Students must provide their current home address to the Admissions and Records Office. Students who change their name, address, or Social Security number must submit a change form immediately to the Admissions and Records Office. Items mailed to the address on file are considered properly delivered by ACC. The college may require official proof of residency.
The College will consider the use of e-mail in communicating with students to be an effective alternative to the use of land mail or telephones. The choice of the means of communication, e-mail or otherwise, will depend upon the nature of the message and the method deemed most appropriate by the College department or faculty member initiating the communication. It is likely that many of the communications students have received by land mail in the past will now come via e-mail. "Electronic mail (e-mail), like postal mail, is a mechanism for official College communication to students. The College will exercise the right to send e-mail communications to all students, and will expect that e-mail communications will be received and read in a timely manner. Undeliverable messages returned because of either a full in-box or use of a spam filter will be considered delivered without further action required of the College.
The director of admissions and records is the custodian of all student records except those specifically relating to financial aid. ACC defines "student records" as any information collected, assembled, or maintained by the college. This includes documents, writings, letters, memoranda, computer tapes, and other materials written or otherwise that directly or indirectly contain the identity of the student. Student records are confidential. Any student, regardless of age, has access to his/her records and is entitled to receive copies at the established duplication rate. Students do not have access to the parent's confidential financial statement. ACC will release a transcript to other educational institutions if the college receives a written request from the student, the student has no outstanding financial obligations, and there are no holds on the student's academic record. Student records include:
- Applications for admission
- Financial aid
- Veterans' training
- Standardized achievement test scores
- Scores on standardized tests
- Specialized testing results
- Family background information
- Transcripts of grades
The Texas Department of Health urges immunization for diphtheria, rubeola, rubella, mumps, tetanus, and poliomyelitis before being admitted to school. The Student Services Office has information on local immunization providers. Health Sciences students have additional immunization requirements. Information about these requirements is available from individual ACC departments or the Travis County Health Department.
Bacterial Meningitis Immunization
New students receive information about bacterial meningitis when they apply to ACC. Effective January 1, 2012, the State of Texas requires all students under age 30 who are new to college or returning after a leave of one full semester (fall or spring) to either receive a vaccination against bacterial meningitis or decline the immunization at least 10 days before attending class. All individuals who are required to comply with this law must do so prior to being eligible to register for classes at ACC.
You must provide either:
1. Evidence you have received the vaccination or booster dose during the five-year period preceding and at least 10 days prior to the first day of classes. This evidence must be submitted in one of the following three formats:
- A document bearing the signature or stamp of the physician or his/designee, or public health personnel (must include the month, day, and year the vaccination was administered).
- An official immunization record generated from a state or local health authority (must include the month, day, and year the vaccination was administered).
- An official record received from school officials, including a record from another state (must include the month, day, and year the vaccination was administered).
2. Evidence you are declining the vaccination for medical reasons or a state-approved conscientious objection. This evidence must be submitted in one of the following two formats:
- An affidavit or a certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed to practice medicine in the United States, in which it is stated that, in the physician's opinion, the vaccination required would be injurious to the health and well-being of the student.
- An affidavit signed by the student stating that the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. A conscientious exemption form from the Texas Department of State Health Services must be used. (This may take up to 30 days.)
Students over 30 years of age: You are exempt from the law if you are 30 years or older by the first class day in which you intend to enroll.
Additional information and instructions for submitting all evidence toward meeting this requirement can be found at austincc.edu/apply/immunizations.
To be considered a Texas resident, students must legally establish domicile and reside in Texas at least 12 months before enrollment into ACC and must be either U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status. ACC recognizes the following classifications when setting tuition rates:
- In-district students — Texas residents are considered in-district if their address on file in Admissions and Records 1) is in the Austin, Del Valle, Elgin, Hays Consolidated, Leander, Manor, or Round Rock independent school districts; or 2) pays City of Austin taxes. Property owners and their dependents living in Texas but outside the ACC tax district who own property in-district and pay taxes supporting ACC may be eligible for in-district tuition. A current property tax statement and dependency documents are required for verification each semester of enrollment. Property owners on most temporary visas are not eligible for in-district classification.
- Out-of-district students — Texas residents who reside outside the ACC tax district, based on the address on file at ACC by the residency change deadline published in the course schedule.
- Out-of-state students — Individuals who have not resided in Texas for the 12 months preceding registration or whose permanent resident card is less than 12 months old.
- International students—Consult the International Student Office about residency requirements.
Students are responsible for registering under the proper residency classification. Any question concerning this classification should be clarified with the Admissions and Records Office before enrollment. Rules and regulations for determining residence status are defined under Title 3 of the Texas Education Code. To determine the appropriate residency classification, ACC is required to review enrollment documents for errors, inconsistencies or misclassifications of residency. The college will take the necessary steps to see that appropriate adjustments are made if a misclassification occurs. Additional documentation of Texas residency may be required if the college determines that the information given on the enrollment documents is not adequate to prove residency.
Possible Effect of Criminal Record
Students seeking to enter certain programs of study at ACC should be aware that their ability to complete the program, be licensed or certified, or employed may be affected if they have a prior criminal record. In such cases, the actual violation and the length of time since that violation may be the deciding factor.
Programs that require agency sponsorship and programs that require practicums, internships, or clinical experience depend on community agencies to fulfill that requirement and some of those agencies may require criminal background checks prior to the student being allowed into their facilities. If the participating community agency will not accept the student because of a criminal record, the student may be unable to continue in the program.
Students completing certain programs of study may be prohibited from obtaining credentials or licenses due to a criminal record. In some cases, employers may be required by law to do a criminal background check prior to employment.
Programs where a student's prior criminal record may come into question include, but are not limited to, Health Sciences, Criminal Justice, and Child Development. You should check with the program to confirm your eligibility. The college conducts pre-employment criminal background checks on all otherwise eligible financial aid applicants for Work Study.
Certain applicants should also be aware that ACC is considered a "place where minors gather for regularly scheduled educational programs and/or activities." In addition, some ACC campuses are in proximity to minors in public schools.
Transferring Credit to ACC
Credit for courses listed on official transcripts from other accredited colleges and universities will be evaluated for possible transfer to ACC to fulfill degree requirements. Students must have earned a grade of C or above in the course in order for it to transfer. If a D was earned in a course that the student is attempting to transfer, the student is encouraged to see an academic department advisor. Grades of A, B, C, D, and F will be utilized in calculating the grade point average (GPA) of coursework from the sending institution but do not become a part of the ACC GPA. Students must complete at least one college credit course at ACC before transferred courses are recorded on their ACC transcript. Official transcripts that are received before or during a student's first term of enrollment will be evaluated by the end of the first term in which a student is enrolled.
Official transcripts reflecting an earned Associate or higher degree are not automatically evaluated. A request for evaluation may be made in writing. Evaluation Request forms are available at any campus Admissions and Records office.
Transfer Requirements and Limitations
- Each institution of higher education shall identify in its undergraduate catalog each lower-division course that is substantially equivalent to an academic course listed in the Lower Division Academic Course Guide Manual published by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
- Each university must offer at least 45 semester credit hours of academic courses that are substantially equivalent to courses listed in the Lower Division Academic Course Guide Manual, including those that fulfill the lower-division portion of the institution's core curriculum.
- All public colleges and universities must accept transfer of credit for successfully completed courses in ACC's core curriculum as applicable to an associate or bachelor's degree in the same manner as credit awarded to non-transfer students in that degree program.
- Each institution shall be required to accept in transfer into a bachelor's degree program the number of lower-division semester credit hours in the program that are allowed for non-transfer students in that program. However:
- No institution shall be required to accept in transfer more credit hours in the major area of a degree program than the number set out in any applicable Coordinating Board-approved field of study curriculum for that program.
- In any degree program for which there is no Coordinating Board-approved field of study curriculum, no institution shall be required to accept in transfer more lower-division course credit in the major applicable to a bachelor's degree than the institution allows non-transfer students in that major.
- An institution of higher education may deny the transfer of credit in courses with a grade of D as applicable to the student's field of study curriculum courses, core curriculum courses, or major.
Policy on Transfer Dispute Resolution
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Rule and Regulations (Chapter 4, Subchapter B, Sections 4.25 and 4.27) outlines the following procedure for resolving disputes regarding credit transfer and other transfer issues:
- If Austin Community College does not accept course credit earned by a student at another institution of higher education, ACC will give written notice to the student and the other institution that the transfer of the course credit is denied and shall include in that notice the reasons for denying the credit. ACC will attach to the written notice the procedures for resolution of transfer disputes and the procedure for appealing the decision to the Texas commissioner of higher education.
- A student who receives written notice of denial may dispute the denial of credit by contacting ACC's Office of the Vice President, Academic Transfer and General and Developmental Education.
- ACC, the student, and the institution at which the credit was earned shall attempt to resolve the dispute regarding transfer of the course credit in accordance with Coordinating Board rules and/or guidelines.
- If the transfer dispute is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student or the institution at which the credit was earned within 45 days after the date the student received written notice of the denial, the sending institution may notify the Texas commissioner of higher education in writing of the request for transfer dispute resolution, and the institution that denies the course credit for transfer shall notify the commissioner in writing of its denial and the reasons for the denial.
- The commissioner or a designee shall make the final determination about a dispute concerning the transfer of course credit and give written notice of the determination to the involved student and institutions.