The Austin Community College District is committed to the belief that in a free and democratic society, all persons should have a continuing opportunity to develop skills and knowledge as well as to enhance their understanding of the responsibilities in that society. The college takes as its guiding educational principle the proposition that, insofar as available resources permit, instruction should be adapted to student needs. This principle requires both flexibility in instructional strategies and maintenance of high academic standards.
Grading System, Semester-Credit
The following grading system is used at ACC:
Grade Points Per Semester Credit Hour
Credit Given for Non-Traditional Transfer Work
The grade point average is calculated by dividing the number of credit hours into the total grade points.
* Pass/Fail: A passing grade is defined as the equivalent of a C grade or better. A grade of P (passing) achieved in a course under a pass/fail option will not be used in calculating cumulative GPA. A grade of F (failing) received in a course taken under a pass/fail option will be used in calculating GPA. The Pass/Fail grade option is only applicable to a limited group of practicum courses. Please see an academic department advisor for information about this grade option.
Student Course Load, Semester-Credit Programs
A full-time student is defined as a student who:
- Registers for 12 or more credit hours in any combination of terms within the 16-week semester
- Registers for 12 credit hours within the 11-week or 9-week summer sessions
- Registers for six credit hours in one 5½-week summer session, or six credit hours in each 5½-week session
Students must obtain written permission from the campus dean of student services or a designee before registering if they wish to:
- Register for more than 18 hours in any combination of terms within a 16-week semester
- Register for more than 12 hours in any combination of terms within the 11-week summer semester
- Register for more than six credit hours in a 5½-week summer session
Good Standing and Acceptable Academic Progress, Semester-Credit Programs, and Grade Point Average
Good standing is the maintenance of a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or better (on the 4.00 scale used at ACC) and a cumulative completion rate of 50% or higher. A 2.00 GPA is the same as a C average. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better in order to graduate from any degree or certificate program. In calculating a student's cumulative GPA, all coursework attempted at ACC for which a grade of A, B, C, D, or F was awarded will be considered. The student's permanent record shall reflect two grade point averages: 1) All college work taken at ACC, including developmental courses, if the student took such courses and 2) College work taken at ACC, which excludes any developmental courses. In calculating a student's completion rate, repeated courses count as attempted every time, but completed only once.
An instructor may award a grade of I (Incomplete) if a student was unable to complete all of the objectives for the passing grade in a course. An I cannot be carried beyond the established date in the following semester. The completion date is determined by the instructor but may not be later than the final withdrawal deadline in the subsequent semester. The department chair will approve a change from I to a performance grade (A, B, C, D, or F) for the course before deadline.
Consideration should be given to course load, job, and family obligations when carrying an I into a new semester for completion. An I that is not resolved by the deadline will automatically be converted to an F.
In extreme cases, students may receive permission to carry an I for longer than the following semester or session deadline. Approval must come from the instructional dean.
In Progress Grades
An IP (In Progress) grade may be used for students in developmental education courses. An IP may be awarded to students who remain in the class, are attending and are progressing but not achieving the standards for earning a C or better in the course. An IP is a final grade for the term and counts toward the student's term hour load but carries no grade points or credit toward graduation. An IP does not mean successful fulfillment of the objectives of the course or completion of remediation. Students who earn an IP and continue at ACC must re-register in the same course for the next term that they enroll unless TSI requirements are otherwise met, in which case the IP becomes the final grade.
An IP grade is not to be used as an alternative to an I or an F. TSI-mandated students who have excessive absences do not qualify for an IP.
Students may earn an IP in the same course two times. On the third attempt, the student is not eligible for an IP and instead must earn an A, B, C, D, or F.
All grades for repeated courses appear on the transcript. An asterisk (*) by a course grade on the student's transcript indicates that the course has been repeated. In general, when non-Developmental Education courses are repeated, only the highest grade earned will be used in calculating the grade point average.
Academic Standards of Progress
The college maintains a system for monitoring academic progress to identify students experiencing academic difficulty. The college will intervene in a student's academic life when circumstances warrant, will limit enrollment and course selection if considered necessary, and may employ additional interventions that foster and encourage academic success.
Note: Students receiving financial aid also must comply with the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Recipients. which may differ from the College Academic Standards of Progress.
The college's academic standings and interventions are:
- Good Standing: Cumulative 2.0 GPA or greater and cumulative 50 percent or higher course completion rate. Intervention: Congratulatory statement to the student.
- Early Alert: Students who do not meet a cumulative 2.0 GPA or a cumulative 50 percent course completion rate any time after attempting one credit hour. Intervention: Students are notified of their academic standing and encouraged to meet with a counselor.
- Warning: Early Alert moves to Warning when students do not meet the cumulative 2.0 GPA or cumulative 50 percent course completion rate during the subsequent semester of enrollment. Students must follow the requirements of a performance improvement plan and can continue to enroll on warning status as long as the semester GPA is 2.0 or higher and the semester completion rate is 50% or higher. When a student's cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher and the cumulative completion rate is 50% or higher the student returns to good standing. Intervention: Registration hold applied. Students must meet with a counselor and develop a plan for improvement in order to register.
- Suspension: Warning moves to Suspension when students on warning do not meet the standard of a semester 2.0 GPA or semester 50 percent course completion rate during the subsequent semester of enrollment. Students are suspended for the next fall or spring semester and the accompanying summer. Intervention: Registration hold applied. Students are notified that they are suspended and may not enroll in any ACC credit courses for the indicated period.
- Probation: Suspension moves to Probation after the suspension period. Students on probation can continue to enroll as long as the semester GPA is 2.0 or greater and the semester course completion rate is 50 percent or higher. Students not meeting semester requirements will be suspended for the next fall or spring semester and the accompanying summer. When a student's cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher and the cumulative completion rate is 50% or higher the student returns to good standing. Intervention: Registration hold applied. Students are notified they must meet with a counselor to develop and follow a plan for improvement and to register for courses.
- Review: Students may contact a counselor to request a review of their status.
Excessive Credits Earned Toward an ACC degree
Students who entered a Texas public college for the first time in the fall of 1999 or later are subject to Texas statute 76R SB345 that limits the number of courses they may take for which the state will pay. The limit for each community college student is 1.5 times the credits required for a two-year degree.
- The credits required for an ACC degree are determined by what is in the ACC Catalog
- Students who exceed the number of semester credit hours required for a degree by 50 percent may be charged additional fees
- Courses for which students receive a grade of W (withdrawal) are included in the total credit calculation.
- Developmental Education courses are not included in the total credit calculations
This rule also applies to university students and to community college students who transfer from ACC to Texas public colleges and universities.
Repeat Courses and Third Attempt Fees
Grades for repeated courses appear on the student transcript. An asterisk (*) by the course grade indicates the course has been repeated. In general, when non-Developmental Education courses are repeated, only the highest grade earned will be used in calculating the grade point average.
Students who enroll for the third or subsequent time in a course taken since fall 2002 are charged a higher tuition rate. "Third Attempt Course Tuition" affects most credit and Continuing Education courses. Courses not affected by the higher tuition rate include Developmental Education and Special Topics courses.
Excessive Developmental Education Hours
A public community college district or technical college will not receive funding for Developmental Education courses taken by a student in excess of 27 semester credit hours or the equivalent.
Regular and punctual class and laboratory attendance is expected of all students. If attendance is unsatisfactory, the instructor may withdraw students from class. (Other reasons for instructor-initiated withdrawals might be students' failure to comply with course policies or meet objectives.)
The college will notify students of the action taken by the instructor. Instructor-initiated withdrawals count toward state limits on course withdrawals (See Six-Withdrawals Limit).
If students desire reinstatement, they should submit a written appeal to the instructor within five business days. The instructor's response is due five business days following the appeal. Students may re-appeal the instructor's decision to the department chair, then division dean. The dean's decision is final.
During the appeals process, students may attend class, submit assignments, and take tests for grading unless there are established course or program guidelines that would prohibit their returning to class.
Dropping/Withdrawing From Courses
Each semester or term includes dates students may either "drop" or "withdraw" from a course. The college places no limits on the number of courses a student may drop. However, state law limits the number of course withdrawals, with some exemptions and exceptions. Note: Dropping or withdrawing from a course may affect financial aid, veterans' benefits, international student status, or academic standing. Students are urged to consult with their instructor or an advisor or counselor before making schedule changes.
Drops vs. Withdrawals
Students who officially exit a course during either the schedule change period or before the official college reporting date are considered to have "dropped" the course. They do so by dropping officially, using student Online Services. "Dropped" courses are not considered withdrawals and are not posted on the student transcript.
Withdrawals from a course occur after the official reporting date and result in a mark of W on the student transcript.
It is the student's responsibility to initiate a withdrawal request officially, using student Online Services. before the withdrawal deadline. Discontinuance of class attendance or notice to the instructor does not constitute authorized withdrawal. In cases of instructor-initiated withdrawals, the withdrawal counts toward students' maximum withdrawal limits. (See Attendance)
State law permits students to withdraw from no more than six courses during their entire undergraduate career at Texas public colleges or universities. All course withdrawals automatically count toward the limit unless:
- The student withdraws from all courses;
- The student or course is exempt from the rule; or
- The student receives an exception authorized by college officials.
Students who reach their withdrawal limit must remain on the class roll unless they request and receive approval for a withdrawal exception.
The following are exempt from the withdrawal limit:
- Students who entered college before fall 2007
- Co-enrolled high school students (Early College Start)
- Credit by examination or other method that does not require registration in a course
- Developmental Education
- Continuing Education
- Courses taken at private or out-of-state colleges
- Courses ineligible for state funding
- Those in which a punitive, non-completion grade is received (WF)
- Those resulting from documented college error
Students may request an ACC course not count toward their withdrawal limit. Students have three months following the end of the semester or session to officially request an exception to the withdrawal limit. They should meet with a campus-based counselor before submitting a Withdrawal Exception Request.
The college allows the following exceptions:
- Severe illness/debilitating condition of student or close family member
- Death of close family member
- Care of sick, injured, or needy
- Active military duty
- Change in work schedule beyond student's control
- Complete withdrawal from all course.
- Incorrect course placement based on assessment error
- Instructor or classmate incompatibility
- Challenging circumstances, including language barriers and disabilities
- Other circumstances not covered by legislated exceptions
- Other "good cause," as determined by the college
A committee composed of faculty, administrators, and a student peer will review requests that do not fit circumstances specifically listed.
Obligations to the College
Until all obligations to the college are met, students may be barred from future registration, not be allowed to graduate, and/or be administratively withdrawn from class. The college is authorized to place "holds" on student records under the following conditions, which include but are not limited to:
- Unpaid debt to the college
- Failure to make good a returned check
- Failure to make payment on a promissory note or financial aid overpayment
- Failure to return material or pay fines for lost, damaged, or overdue materials from the ACC libraries or from any agency/institution with which ACC has a written agreement
- Ineligibility for aid for which student is registered; overdue loan; failure to complete files
- Failure to compensate for destruction of, or damage to, college property equipment or supplies
- Failure to file required documents; enrolling under false pretenses
- Failure to meet assessment requirement
- Charge back of tuition and fees which were charged to a credit card
- Address correction
Students who wish to audit a course (register for a course without receiving credit) must do so only on the last day of the add/drop period for the semester in which they plan to attend (see official college calendar for dates). Registration is subject to availability of space. Admissions requirements (except TSI) as well as all other rules and regulations of the college apply to the auditing student. Tuition and fees for auditing are the same as those rates charged to students enrolled for credit. Early College Start students may not use the tuition and fee waiver to audit classes.
ACC holds commencement exercises at the end of the spring semester and at the end of the fall semester. Students must satisfy all of the following requirements in order to graduate:
- Fulfill all obligations to the college, including the submission of official transcripts from each institution attended
- Request an evaluation of transcripts and military credit before the semester in which they plan to graduate
- Complete all courses listed in the official degree plan
- Complete all core curriculum and general education requirements
- Maintain a grade point average of 2.00 on a 4.00 scale for all transfer coursework used to satisfy degree plan requirements
- Be in Good Standing with a cumulative ACC GPA of 2.0 or better
- Complete at least 25 percent of the semester credit hours used in the degree plan in residence at ACC. Note: Residence hours are to be satisfied by attending classes; credit by exam or other nonattendance credit is excluded
- Students may not earn more than one Associate of Arts (AA, AAT) or more than one Associate of Science degree at ACC
- Students may not receive an Associate of Arts in General Studies at the same time or after receiving another associate degree
- Students may not receive a certificate at the same time or after receiving an Associate of Applied Science in the same program
- TSI-obligated students must pass the certification form of the state-approved assessment to graduate from any associate degree program or any certificate program having at least 43 or more semester hours
Students who meet these requirements must complete the Graduation Application and submit it using the Online Services electronic form before the deadline date set in the official college calendar. Applicants for graduation will be notified of their status by mail. Graduates are encouraged to participate in ACC's commencement exercises held at the end of the spring and fall semesters. The diploma will be mailed to the address on file with the Graduation Office.
Catalog in Effect
Students have the option of meeting the degree requirements and may graduate under the terms of the catalog in effect when they entered Austin Community College or any subsequent catalog under which they attended, provided: A) said catalog is not more than 5 years old, and B) the student's particular degree or certificate plan has not been discontinued by the college. Students with majors that are discontinued will be allowed two years in which to complete such plans before the official deactivation of the affected instructional program. Students needing more information about this policy should contact an academic advisor or counselor.
Honors and Achievements
Scholastic Achievement Awards
The college recognizes students' scholastic achievement at the completion of each fall and spring semester. Notification of the achievement will appear on students' transcripts. Notation of the honor also will appear on students' diplomas if their cumulative GPA qualifies them for a scholastic achievement award. Note: Academic honors are awarded only for semesters in which the student has completed a minimum 12 semester credit hours. Students enrolled in only Developmental Education courses are not eligible.
Scholastic Leadership Roll — For students who have completed at least 12 semester credit hours at ACC and have achieved and maintained a grade point average between 3.50 and 3.75 (on a 4.00 scale)
Scholastic Excellence Roll — For students who have completed at least 12 semester credit hours at ACC and have achieved and maintained a grade point average higher than 3.75 but less than 4.00 (on the 4.00 scale)
President's Honor Roll — For students who have completed at least 12 semester credit hours at ACC and have achieved and maintained a grade point average of 4.00 (on the 4.00 scale used at ACC)
The Honors Program provides an intellectual community for capable and motivated students at Austin Community College. This is accomplished through smaller classes, student engagement, and enrichment activities. The Honors Program is open to students who either ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class or earned the following minimum scores or higher:
- 3.5 high school GPA
- 26 on the ACT
- 1170 on the SAT
- 3.25 college GPA
Students must be accepted in the Honors Program before they can register for honors classes. Visit austincc.edu/honors to learn more or download an application.
Phi Theta Kappa
Phi Theta Kappa has been the only nationally recognized International Honor Society of the Two-Year College since its founding in 1918. The Alpha Gamma Pi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa was chartered at ACC in October 1977. In accordance with the international organization's goals, the Alpha Gamma Pi chapter recognizes and promotes scholarship, the development of leadership and service, and the cultivation of fellowship among students at ACC. Students who meet chapter criteria receive invitations during the fall and spring semesters.
Official transcripts are issued at all campuses.
Transcript requests will be honored as quickly as possible on a first-come, first-served basis. During peak periods including commencement and registration, transcripts should be requested two weeks in advance. Student must make all requests either in writing or by using the secure Online Services request form. Requests by persons other than the student will not be honored without the student's personal signature and a copy of a valid photo ID (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974).
The Social Security number of the student is required to properly identify the student's file. All financial and other obligations to the college must be cleared before transcripts can be released. Continuing Education students may obtain their transcripts and duplicate certificates from the Continuing Education Division, Fourth Floor, Highland Business Center, 5930 Middle Fiskville Road, Austin, Texas 78752.
Policies And Procedures
Copyright and Duplication of Course Materials
Austin Community College District recognizes and respects intellectual property ownership, including copyrights. Copyright infringement violates the reasonable expectations of the copyright owner to have exclusive control over the materials they create. Copyrights are property rights and are protected by federal statute. Copying or reproduction of materials without permission of the copyright owner, or distribution or republication of those materials without permission, is copyright infringement. This includes the making and disseminating of copies by or on electronic media, as well as the more familiar method of copy machine reproduction. In particular, the posting of materials on the Internet, or the transmission of documents by electronic mail, is an infringing use of materials when it is done without permission.
The ACC District expects its students to respect the rights of the college and of their professors and other instructors or staff who use or permit the use of copyright protected materials for instruction. Of course, textbooks and other commercial publications used as text or supplemental materials are copyright protected. It is copyright infringement to make or disseminate copies of such materials in whole or part without permission. Most, if not all, other course materials-course syllabi or outlines, course bibliographies or reading lists, lecture or other supplemental handouts, review notes or outlines that are handed out, tests or individual test questions, test answers, and other instructional materials provided to you by your professor or other instructors-are also copyright protected materials. The content of materials does not belong to the student. The student enrolled in a course has only limited permission, a non exclusive license, to use those materials, and that permission is limited to use strictly in conjunction with that student's participation in the course in which the student is enrolled.
Following the intent of the Administrative Rule 4.02.007 of the ACC District, no instructional materials may be reproduced or disseminated by students except for the exclusive use of students enrolled in the course in which such materials have been provided. In particular, course materials may not be posted on the Internet without express written permission. Violations are subject to civil penalties or criminal prosecution under the federal Copyright Act of 1976, as amended. In addition, students who violate this rule regarding copyright infringement are subject to college disciplinary action. It is a condition of a student's enrollment in courses at Austin Community College that he or she respect the copyrights of others and adhere to the Copyright Administrative Rule.
If a student has any questions about whether he or she is permitted to make copies of or disseminate instructional materials the student should inquire at the associate vice president of instructional resources and technology (223.7667).
Religious Holy Days
In compliance with Senate Bill 738, ACC permits students to be absent from classes for the observance of a religious holy day. "Religious holy day" means a day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20 of the Tax Code.
ACC permits students to be absent, without penalty, from examinations or from completing assignments scheduled for that day. It is the student's responsibility to work with the course instructor when absent for a religious holy day in order to complete required assignments within two days following the absence. The instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to satisfactorily complete the assignment or examination.
Complaints and Grade Disputes
Student Complaint Procedures
Student complaints may include (but are not limited to) issues regarding classroom instruction, college services and offices as well as discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, age, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation. Grade disputes and sexual or sexual harassment complaints are handled separately.
The following procedure applies to complaints about an instructor or other college employee. You must complete each step before proceeding to the next one.
- First meeting. Attempt to resolve the complaint immediately with the person directly involved, in a meeting outside of the classroom environment. Bring materials pertaining to the complaint. Each individual should take notes of the meeting for mutual clarification. There may be instances when you cannot meet with the individual; if this is the case, proceed to step 2. Note: This step can be completed by telephone conference.
- Meeting with supervisor. If unable to resolve the complaint with the individual involved, you must request a meeting with the employee's supervisor within 10 business days after the first meeting (excluding weekends, holidays, and scheduled breaks). The supervisor will respond to the request by scheduling a meeting within 10 business days to discuss the issue with you and, if desired, with the employee. All parties should make every effort to resolve the complaint at this level.
- Written complaint. If you cannot resolve the complaint in the meeting, you must submit a formal, written complaint to the supervisor within 10 business days. Complaint forms are available from the campus administrative office, department chairs, instructional deans, assistant deans, and the Student Services office at any campus. Write the complaint as briefly and succinctly as possible. Counselors from Student Services may advise you on the process of preparing your written statement. This completed form must be submitted to the supervisor within 10 business days of the meeting in Step 2. The supervisor will sign the form to acknowledge that a joint meeting has occurred. This does not constitute agreement to your complaint.
- Written complaint forwarded to dean or next level supervisor. Ask the supervisor to forward the complaint with written statements from the parties involved to the appropriate dean or next level supervisor. This form and written statements should be forwarded to the next level in the supervisory chain within five business days of the complaint having been submitted to the supervisor. The dean or next level supervisor will acknowledge receipt of the student's complaint within five business days.
- Meeting with dean or supervisor next level. The dean or next level supervisor will schedule a time to meet with you. At this time you can discuss the complaint with the dean or next level supervisor. Bring all supporting documentation to the meeting. The dean or next level supervisor will deliver a decision in writing within 10 business days of the meeting.
- Appeal to vice president. If the complaint has not been resolved, you may appeal the dean's or next level supervisor's decision within 10 business days to the associate vice president overseeing the department involved in the complaint. Your written appeal, including all supporting documentation, will then be forwarded to the department's vice president, who may request an appointment with you to discuss the appeal or may choose to make a decision based upon a review of the written documentation.
- Determination. The vice president will make a decision concerning the complaint and notify you of the decision in writing within 10 days of receiving the appeal. The decision of the vice president is final.
Sexual and Racial Harassment
- The person receiving the complaint (department chair, assistant department chair, associate dean, dean) meets with the student in a private area to discuss the student's complaint.
- If the student has not already done so, the person receiving the complaint asks the student to write a statement of everything that happened regarding the complaint. The statement should include dates, times, places, witnesses, and specifics of what was said and done.
- The person receiving the complaint notifies the academic or workforce dean of the situation. The dean will specify a person to conduct an investigation.
- The investigator appointed by the academic or workforce dean reviews the written material submitted by the student and meets with the student to discuss the complaint. The investigator also meets with any witnesses and secures a witness statement of what they saw, heard, or witnessed. The investigator may consult with the associate vice president for human resources to identify alternatives.
- The investigator will meet with the faculty member to review the complaint, analyze the data presented by the student and witnesses, and give the faculty member an opportunity to respond to the complaint. The faculty member also may identify witnesses to be interviewed. The investigator will determine from this meeting any additional information that needs to be gathered or considered.
- After meeting with the faculty member and concluding the investigation, the investigator will make a recommendation, in writing, to the academic or workforce dean. The recommendation will state the following: complaint, findings of the facts, persons interviewed, conclusions, and recommendations.
- If the student has also filed a grade appeal for the faculty member's class, the student has the option of pursuing the grade appeal first so as to not jeopardize that process.
- The dean, in consultation with the appropriate associate vice president, will determine the final action to be taken on the complaint. The faculty member will be advised in writing of the outcome. The investigator or dean also will meet with the faculty member to discuss the findings and the outcome.
- The investigator or dean will notify the student of the disposition of the complaint. If dissatisfied with the resolution, the faculty member or the student may appeal to the appropriate associate vice president. The final appeal is to the executive vice president.
All course grades are awarded by the instructor of record. At the beginning of the course, your instructor will inform you of course requirements and grading policies. Your instructor shall exercise professional judgment in the application of those policies and the awarding of grades. All grades are final except in the case of college error.
Resolving disputes about a grading policy and/or a specific assignment grade
If you have a question about a grading policy and/or a specific assignment grade, you must raise your question while enrolled in the course. Meet with your instructor and discuss your questions or objections. Document in writing what you discuss and the outcome of that discussion in case you later request a formal "Review of Final Course Grade."
If you are unable to resolve your questions or objections with your instructor, make an appointment with the department chair to discuss the matter or, if the instructor is the department chair, with the dean. If you need help locating the department chair or dean, visit Student Services on any campus, or refer to the website at austincc.edu/dept.
Resolving disputes about final course grades
If you have questions about your final course grade, you must contact your instructor within three months after the grade was awarded. If you cannot contact the instructor, contact the department chair. (If the department chair is also the instructor who awarded the grade, the appropriate dean or vice president shall act in place of the department chair.)
If the grade awarded was not the grade your instructor intended, your instructor will initiate a Grade Change Request Form to correct the error. Address any follow-up questions to your instructor or the department chair.
If the grade awarded was the grade your instructor intended, but you believe there was an error, you may request a formal "Review of Final Course Grade."
Formal 'Review of Final Course Grade'
- A request for a formal "Review of Final Course Grade" may be submitted only if a student is unable to resolve the dispute either with the course instructor or with the assistance of the department chair. Students are encouraged to make an appointment with an ACC counselor to discuss the process before preparing a formal request.
- In order to begin this process, you must submit your written request including evidence of college error and relevant supporting documentation to the department chair within three months after the grade was awarded. The department chair will forward your request to the dean who oversees that department. Late requests or deadline extensions will be approved only if there are documented extenuating circumstances.
- The dean will give your instructor a copy of your written request and ask the instructor to provide a written response. The dean will give you a copy of the instructor's written statement. If the college no longer employs the instructor who awarded the grade, the dean will make a diligent effort to locate the instructor to obtain a written statement. (If the instructor is unavailable, the dean, in consultation with the department chair, will give you a written statement containing all relevant information available to them.) During the process of writing and exchanging statements, the instructor may choose to change the grade or you may withdraw your request for review. If neither of these occurs, the dean shall appoint a three-member faculty Grade Review Committee to consider the request.
- The Grade Review Committee will consist of three members, including a required representative outside the discipline. None of your current instructors, at the time the committee meets, will be on the committee. You may exercise your option to have a Student Government Association representative participate on the committee. If possible, one of the committee members will be an adjunct faculty in the discipline. The committee members will determine the steps they take in reviewing your request. There is no requirement for you to appear before the committee, but you may request to do so. You will not be present when the committee considers your request.
- The Grade Review Committee will meet in private to protect the confidentiality of all student records. Only committee members will be present during committee deliberations. The dean will explain the committee's decision in writing to you, your instructor, and the department chair. The committee's decision is final. If the decision requires a grade change, the dean will initiate the paperwork to make the grade change.
Student Criminal Background Check
The Austin Community College District is committed to providing a safe learning environment for all students and to supporting all federal and state regulations protecting individuals receiving services from ACC students. As part of this commitment, ACC will identify all programs where criminal background checks are required by law or as a condition of the program approval/accreditation. ACC will require criminal history checks of students in these identified programs and will refuse admission to or continuation in these programs where necessary to meet such regulations or accreditation standards.
Student Standards of Conduct and Disciplinary Process
The Austin Community College District offers an environment where students' rights are respected and responsibilities are recognized. Students are invited to be active members of the education community. Opportunity for students to examine and question information and assumptions of a given discipline, guided by the evidence of scholarly research, is appropriate in a learning environment. This value is accompanied by an equally demanding responsibility on the part of the student.
Student Standards of Conduct & Disciplinary Process
Acceptable standards of conduct include behavior that:
- Reflects the highest level of honesty and integrity
- Is civil, courteous, and respectful of all members of the campus community, their property, and the property of the college
- Encourages responsibility and prohibits the unlawful use of alcohol, illicit drugs, other substances, and weapons
- Promotes mutual respect, equality, and safety of its members and opposes those acts that harass, intimidate, or haze its members
By enrolling at ACC, students agree to abide by the college's Student Standards of Conduct. These standards also establish disciplinary procedures for students accused of violating those standards. The Student Standards of Conduct and Disciplinary Process are published in the ACC catalog and the Administrative Rules.
1. Student Rights
1.A Course expectations
Austin Community College students are guaranteed certain rights as citizens of the college community. Students have the right to receive a detailed syllabus within the first week of class for each course in which they enroll. Each syllabus should include course policies, instructor expectations, and grading standards. Students have the right to timely academic evaluation that is consistent and without prejudice. Students have the right to expect instructors to post and maintain office hours.
1.B Due process
Students have the right to due process in regard to any complaint or disciplinary action brought against them. College disciplinary procedures respect the due process rights of students.
2. Student Responsibilities
A student attending ACC or an ACC-sponsored event assumes responsibility for conduct compatible with the mission of the college as an educational institution. Although ACC is dedicated to an open, free society, some actions are inappropriate in an institution of higher education. Students who commit infractions pertaining to any of the following areas are subject to disciplinary action:
2.A Academic dishonesty
2.A.01 Students have the responsibility to submit coursework that is the result of their own thought, research, or self-expression. The following are guidelines to assist students in avoiding academic dishonesty:
Students must do their own work and submit only their own work on examinations, reports, and projects, unless otherwise permitted by the instructor. Students are encouraged to contact their instructor about appropriate citation guidelines.
Students must follow all instructions given by instructors or designated college representatives when taking examinations, placement assessments, tests, quizzes, and evaluations.
2.A.02 Actions constituting violations of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Plagiarism: Defined as taking another person's intellectual work and using it as one's own; for example, this includes quoting without giving proper credit to a source, expanding another person's work without giving credit to that person, or submitting another person's work under the pretense that it is one's own.
- Cheating: The use of unauthorized materials, information, or study aids; an act of deceit by which a student attempts to misrepresent academic skills or knowledge; or unauthorized copying or collaboration.
- Fabrication: Intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
- Collusion: Knowingly helping another individual violate any provision of the Academic Dishonesty guidelines. Collusion includes assistance with assignments or tests that are not authorized by the instructor.
- Falsifying institutional records or other legal or source documents: Includes altering grades, either written or electronic, or other falsification of academic records such as application for admission, grade reports, test papers, registration materials, and reporting forms used by the college.
2.B Inappropriate use of the college's information technology resources.
Students have the responsibility to review, understand, and comply with all policies; procedures; rules; software licensing agreements; contracts; and city, state, and federal laws regarding the use of college information technology resources. Specific violations include, but are not limited to the following:
2.B.01 Installing unauthorized applications and hardware; or intentionally damaging, modifying, monopolizing, destroying, and removing information technology resources.
2.B.02 Violating the rights of others, including that of privacy; or accessing and/or distributing material that is considered threatening, abusive, or obscene; or deliberately disrupting or interfering with others' approved use of information systems
2.B.03 Producing advertisements or solicitations for any purpose other than official college business.
2.B.04 Using college information technology resources to access or attempt to access information for which the student is not authorized, or allowing unauthorized parties to use these ACC information technology resources.
Students have the responsibility not to impair, interfere with, or obstruct the orderly conduct, process, or function of the college or any of its students, faculty, staff, or guests. Threatening acts, direct or implied, concerning harm to others, weapons, and/or explosives will be taken seriously. Specific violations include, but are not limited to, the following:
2.C.01 Acting in a manner that significantly interferes with any ACC teaching, administrative, disciplinary, public service, or other authorized activity inside or outside the classroom
2.C.02 Acting in a manner that endangers the health, safety, or welfare of others at ACC, including at ACC off-campus events
2.C.03 Destroying, damaging, misusing, or defacing of college property
2.C.04 Interfering with the freedom of movement of another person
2.C.05 Interfering with the right of another to enter, use, or leave any college building, facility, property, service, resource, or activity
2.C.06 Refusing to comply with the directions of a college official, including campus police, in the performance of his or her duty
2.C.07 Violation of any ACC policy
2.C.08 Possessing and/or using ACC keys/cards without authorization
2.C.09 Providing false or misleading information to the college or its representatives
2.C.10 Falsely reporting, by any means, the presence of an explosive, incendiary device, fire, or other safety hazard
2.C.11 Failing to obey a summons or comply with the terms of any disciplinary sanction imposed in accordance with the Student Standards of Conduct
2.C.12 Forging, using, or altering any college document, record, or ID without authorization.
2.D Drug and alcohol usage
The college supports an alcohol-free and drug-free environment. The following are violations:
- Being under the influence of alcohol or any illegal drug or controlled substance on college premises or at college-sponsored events
- The possession, use, consumption, sale, or distribution of alcohol and illegal controlled substances on college premises or at college-sponsored events, other than as specifically approved by the president
2.E Illegal acts
Students have the responsibility to adhere to all local ordinances as well as state and federal laws while on college premises or at college-sponsored events.
2.F Solicitation, sales, and canvassing
The college prohibits solicitation, sales, or canvassing (for any purpose) by students or non-students on college premises except with the written permission of the campus manager. Similarly, no concessions for profit may be operated on college property without the written permission of the Student Life Office and/or the campus manager.
3. Disciplinary Actions/Due Process
Violations of the Student Standards of Conduct refer to a student's failure to meet his/her responsibilities. Violations are subject to either General Disciplinary Action or Academic Integrity Disciplinary Action, depending on the nature of the allegations. A student's official address throughout either disciplinary process described herein will be the address on file in the Admission and Records Office.
4. General Disciplinary Action
Violations of the Student Standards of Conduct, except academic integrity, are investigated by the dean of student services and by the Student Support and Success Systems Division, specifically. A Student Discipline form or an incident report detailing alleged violations of the Student Standards of Conduct by an ACC student will need to be completed. The general disciplinary procedure is:
4.A.01 The alleged violation is reported using a Student Discipline form or Police Incident Report to the appropriate dean of student services. Alleged violations occurring at ACC centers are reported to the center coordinator, while off-campus and Distance Learning incidents are reported to the vice president of Student Support and Success Systems. In all cases, the reports are forwarded to the appropriate dean of student services or a designee.
4.A.02 The dean of student services will convene separate conferences, characterized by active listening, with the complainant and the implicated student to understand the nature of the alleged violation and to determine the merits of informal versus formal disciplinary processes. It is helpful for the dean of student services and the student to discuss the circumstances and issues of the alleged violation and to identify possible resolutions.
4.A.03 After completing the preliminary investigation, the dean of student services may (a) dismiss the allegation or (b) summon the student for a formal conference at which time the student shall be informed of the charges against him/her and have the opportunity to refute the charges and to present data to support his/her version of the facts.
4.A.04 If the dean of student services determines that the matter is best resolved in an informal manner, the dean of student services will refer the involved persons in whatever ways are helpful, including mediation.
4.A.05 At any point in time, and depending on the severity of the alleged misconduct, a student may be temporarily suspended pending completion of disciplinary proceedings, criminal proceedings, or a psychological/medical evaluation.
4.A.06 if it is determined that the matter requires a formal disciplinary process, the dean of student services will investigate the alleged violation, confer with the student accused of the violation, and issue a ruling.
4.A.07 The dean of student service's ruling regarding responsibility and any consequent sanctions will be communicated in writing to the student within 15 business days following completion of the investigation.
4.A.08 Students may request, in writing to the dean of student services, within five business days following notification by the dean of student service's ruling, a review of the case before a Judiciary Review Panel (See Judiciary Review Panel hearings section).
4.A.09 Within 10 business days following notification of the student's request, a dean of student services, unconnected with the case, will notify the student of the hearing to be convened.
4.A.10 The Judiciary Review Panel will convene to review the case within 15 business days following notification of the student. Judiciary Review Panel hearings are closed to the public, except for members of the student's family and any advocate appointed by the student. The student and advocate may confer privately during the hearing; however, only the student is permitted to address the panel. The student must respond to all inquiries from the panel.
4.A.11 The decision of the Judiciary Review Panel to affirm, modify, or dismiss the dean of student service's ruling will be communicated by the chair of the Judiciary Review Panel. The decision will be sent by certified mail to the student within 10 business days following the hearing.
4.A.12 Students may appeal the Judiciary Review Panel's ruling to the vice president of Student Support and Success Systems. Appeals must be made in writing within 10 business days following notification of the Judiciary Review Panel's decision.
4.A.13 The vice president of Student Support and Success Systems or a designee will review the Judiciary Review Panel's decision within 15 business days following the appeal. The student may submit written statements when requesting an appeal. No additional testimony or other evidence will be permitted. The vice president's decision to affirm, modify, or dismiss the Judiciary Review Panel's ruling is final.
Mediation is encouraged as an alternative means to resolve problems or disputes before beginning formal complaint procedures. ACC counselors are available to consult with students and faculty members to help mediate problems and disputes. Mediation may help facilitate quick resolution while minimizing the need for formal complaints and lengthy, potentially unnecessary, disciplinary investigations. For mediation to proceed, both parties must agree to use mediation as a means to reach resolution. To be binding in a disciplinary case, the agreement must be approved by the dean of student services.
The dean of student services has the authority to issue sanction(s) including, but not limited to, the following:
- Written reprimand
- Community service
- Loss of privileges/access
- Removal from course
- Conditions placed on future enrollment
- Medical or psychological evaluation and follow-up
- Restitution to the college
- Disciplinary probation
- Disciplinary suspension
- Denial or revocation of degree
- Referral for legal prosecution as appropriate
4.D Hold on student records
In pending cases that could result in disciplinary action, the dean of student services may place a hold on the student's records and notify the student in writing.
4.E Cases involving criminal charges
Students may be accountable both to local, state, or federal authorities and to the college for acts that violate the law and the Student Standards of Conduct. The college's disciplinary process will proceed without regard to criminal proceedings and their outcome.
4.F Disciplinary records
Disciplinary records can be shared with college officials having a legitimate educational interest in a specific disciplinary case. These records will be maintained in accordance with the Texas Records Retention Laws. Except in cases of legally sanctioned requests, student records may be disclosed outside the college only with signed consent from the student.
4.G Interim Suspension
At any point during disciplinary proceedings, the dean of student services may choose to notify the student that his/her right to be present on campus has been suspended. Interim suspension may be exercised to ensure the physical or emotional safety and well-being of the student and others and to prevent the student from engaging in any disruptive or destructive activity on property owned or controlled by the college or at any college-sponsored activity. The investigating official may suspend a student for up to 10 days pending disciplinary proceedings, criminal proceedings, or psychological/medical evaluation. The interim suspension will become effective immediately.
4. G.01 Right to a meeting: A student issued an interim suspension will be given prompt opportunity to meet with the dean of student services. The conference is limited to discussion about: the reliability of the information concerning the student's conduct; and whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the student's presence poses a substantial and immediate threat to himself or herself or to others or to the stability and continuance of normal college functions.
4. G.02 Justifying the interim suspension: The dean of student service's disciplinary ruling must include justification for the interim suspension. The student will be allowed to return to class following the ruling unless it is determined there is a continued threat.
4. G.03 Appealing an interim suspension: The student may appeal the interim suspension to the vice president of Student Support and Success Systems. The vice president will choose to affirm or rescind the interim suspension. He/she may also determine that the interim suspension constitutes the end of the disciplinary process. If the student does not appeal the interim suspension, or if the vice president of Student Support and Success Systems upholds the interim suspension, the dean of student services will proceed with an investigation.
A Judiciary Review Panel is convened when a student appeals the ruling of the dean of students or designee. A Judiciary Review Panel is composed of three or five members appointed by the vice president of Student Support and Success Systems or a designee:
- Academic or Workforce dean, who serves as Judiciary Review Panel chair
- Faculty member
- Two Student Government Association members (optional only if requested)
Hearing panel members cannot be involved with nor have direct knowledge of the case or the accused. A dean of student services who is unconnected with the case will be appointed by the vice president of Student Support and Success Systems to assist the Judiciary Review Panel.
4.H.01 Student notification: The dean of student services who is unconnected to the case will notify the student in writing of the panel hearing date. The notification should:
- Direct the student to appear at the date, time, and place specified in the letter
- State the charges against the student
- Inform the student that college counsel may be present at the hearing. Counsel will not speak at hearing.
- State that the parties shall exchange lists of witnesses and copies of documentary evidence to be used at the hearing at least three business days before the hearing
- Advise the student of the right to:
- A private hearing
- Appear alone or with an advocate; at that time, the student must inform the college if they will be acting alone or with an advocate. Counsel for either party may not speak at the hearing.
- Know the identity of each witness who will testify, unless there is reason to believe that disclosure would endanger the health and safety of the witness
- Call witnesses
- Offer evidence
- Testify on his/her behalf
- Audio-record the hearing
- Appeal the decision
4.H.02 Failure to appear: A student's failure to appear will not interfere with a Judiciary Review Panel hearing. The hearing will proceed as scheduled even if the student fails to appear.
4.H.03 What to expect at a hearing: Judiciary Review Panel hearings are closed to the public. The Judiciary Review Panel chair will provide reasonable opportunities for witnesses to be heard. Witnesses will be asked to affirm that their testimony is truthful and may be charged with Student Standards of Conduct violations if it is found that they intentionally provided false information to the college. The chair may eject any person who becomes disruptive during the hearing, including the student.
4.H.04 Hearing format: Judiciary Review Panel hearings, which are informal in nature, adhere to the following format:
- Introduction of student and panel members
- Review of alleged violation and the pending resolution
- Student testimony
- Questions from the panel
- Witness testimony
- Student rebuttal (if any)
- Panel deliberations (the student is excused)
4.H.05 Witnesses: Prospective witnesses, other than the complainant and the accused student, will be excluded from the hearing during the testimony of other witnesses. Only the Judiciary Review Panel shall be present at its deliberations after the panel hearing concludes. The panel deliberations shall not be recorded or transcribed.
4.H.06 Records of the hearing: The college will make an audiotape recording (or use assistive technology, if needed) of the panel hearing. The student will be given a copy of the audiotape, if requested.
4.I Notice to Victims of Violence
Results of directly related disciplinary proceedings may be released to the victim of a violent or non-forcible sex offense, upon written request.
5. Academic Dishonesty Disciplinary Action
ACC students, faculty, and staff are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity. Cases of suspected academic dishonesty should be reported to the instructor of record and/or the assigned dean of student services. The academic integrity disciplinary procedure regarding issues that affect a grade is:
5.A.01 When a faculty member suspects or receives a report of a violation of academic integrity, the first step is to meet with the student(s) in private to discuss the allegation(s) and review the supporting evidence.
5.A.02 In consultation with the department chair, the faculty member may resolve the matter by:
- Dismissing the allegation;
- Assessing an academic penalty (not a disciplinary penalty); and/or
- Recommending further disciplinary action to the dean of student services.
5.A.03 Within five business days of the initial meeting, the faculty member assesses an academic penalty and communicates, in writing, the resolution to the student, with a copy to the dean of student services, department chair, and dean of the instructional division.
5.A.04 Multiple offenses involving academic dishonesty will be investigated according to the procedure beginning with Section 4.A.06.
5.A.05 Records of Scholastic Dishonesty Academic dishonesty records can be shared with college officials having a legitimate educational interest in a specific academic dishonesty case. These records will be maintained in accordance with the Texas Records Retention Laws. Except in cases of legally sanctioned requests, student records may be disclosed outside the college only with signed consent from the student.
Students are encouraged to meet with an ACC counselor to explore options before preparing an appeal. The student may appeal an academic dishonesty penalty by submitting a written request, with relevant supporting documentation, for a formal review to the instructional department chair within five days of being notified of the instructor's decision. The department chair will forward the student's request to the dean of the instructional division that oversees that department.
The instructional dean shall appoint an Academic Integrity Review Panel to review the academic penalty within 15 business days following notification of the appeal.
5.C.01 Panel composition: Academic Integrity Review Panels are composed of five people, as indicated:
- Instructional dean
- Dean of student services
- Two faculty members (one adjunct and one full-time preferred) including one from outside the instructional area
- Student Government Association member
(Hearing panel members cannot be involved with nor have direct knowledge of the case or the accused).
5.C.02 Hearing format: The Academic Integrity Review Panel will meet in a closed session. The instructor of record and the student will have an opportunity to present their cases. Only panel members will be present during panel deliberations. The instructional dean will explain the panel's decision in writing to the student, the student's instructor, and the department chair. The panel's decision is final. If the decision requires a grade change, the instructional dean will initiate the required paperwork.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Students at the college have the rights accorded by the U.S. Constitution to freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, petition, and association. These rights carry with them the responsibility to accord the same rights to others in the college community and not to interfere with or disrupt the educational process. Opportunity for students to examine and question pertinent data and assumptions of a given discipline, guided by the evidence of scholarly research, is appropriate in a learning environment. This concept is accompanied by an equally demanding concept of responsibility on the part of the student. As willing partners in learning, students must comply with college rules and procedures.
Enrollment in the college indicates acceptance of the rules set forth in this policy, which is administered through the office of the campus dean of student services. Due process, through an investigation and appeal process, is assured to any student involved in disciplinary action.
The purpose of this policy is to identify the rights and responsibilities of ACC students, to specify acts prohibited and standards of conduct required, and to set a range of appropriate penalties when rules are violated.
College disciplinary procedures respect the due process rights of students.
Provisions are included to protect the college and members of the college community in emergencies and other instances requiring immediate action. Even in such instances, the college will take reasonable steps to provide for due process.
Administration of Discipline
The campus dean of student services or the appropriate facility administrator shall have primary responsibility for the administration of student discipline. The campus dean of student services works cooperatively with faculty members in the disposition of scholastic violations.
Students' Role in College Decision-Making
The participation of students in ACC decision-making is an important institutional value. Participation occurs in several ways: program and instructor evaluations; monthly Student Government Association presentations to the Board of Trustees; and participation in the Student Government Association, focus groups, and the Student Activity Fee Advisory Committee. During orientation, new students receive information about the Student Government Association. The association appoints students as voting members to many college and campus committees in order to influence decisions on a variety of issues, from the budget to the registration process to the remodeling of college facilities.
Health, Safety and security
To report suspicious activity or an EMERGENCY, call 222 from any ACC phone or 223.7999 from an outside line.
ACC District Police Department
The ACC District Police Department (ACCPD) has more than 60 commissioned police officers and 14 support staff members. It operates 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, with officers on patrol at all times. In addition, ACCPD maintains a 24-hour emergency dispatch system to monitor fire and intrusion alarms and to dispatch officers to calls for service. ACCPD responds to emergencies, investigates reported crimes and traffic accidents, provides safety escorts, enforces parking regulations, manages after-hours access, and assists motorists. ACCPD also provides security awareness and crime prevention seminars and workshops on request. Police personnel are in direct radio communication with all local area emergency response groups. Students needing assistance should approach any police department personnel and make their request. If officers cannot help, they will be able to contact someone who can. For more information go to austincc.edu/police
Drug and Alcohol Free Campuses
ACC policy and state law prohibit the possession of illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia on college premises. The college's Student Standards of Conduct and Disciplinary Process (Administrative Rule 1.04.006) also prohibits the possession, sale, or use of alcoholic beverages on ACC premises. Violations include:
- Being under the influence of alcohol or any illegal drug or controlled substance on college premises or at college-sponsored events.
- The possession, use, consumption, sale, or distribution of alcohol and illegal controlled substances on college premises or at college-sponsored events, other than as specifically approved by the president.
For more details on this and other policies, see austincc.edu/current/drugfree
Sex offenders must register with the ACC District Police Department as required by law or court order. Information concerning ACC students or employees who are convicted sex offenders and who have registered this fact with ACC can be found at austincc.edu/police.
State law and ACC policy prohibit the possession of weapons as defined in Article 46.03 of the Texas Penal Code and prohibited weapons as defined in Article 46.05(a) of the code on ACC premises. A weapon may be used as a teaching aid if prior approval has been obtained from the Campus Manager's Office and the ACC Police Department are notified.
Students should not leave their belongings or valuables unattended. ACC provides lockers at some locations. Check with the ACC Police Department or the Campus Administrative Office for information about the availability of lockers and procedures for their use. ACC is not responsible for loss of or damage to lockers, locks, or locker contents.
Students are not permitted to bring children to class, nor should students leave children unattended in the halls, offices, libraries, learning labs, testing centers, cafeterias, or any other college location.
Environmental Health, Safety and Insurance Department
ACC's environmental programs are focused on the protection of air, water and land by properly managing chemicals, stormwater, hazardous wastes and spills that might occur on campus.
Health and Safety
ACC's safety programs are focused on the prevention of illness and injury to students and employees from the potential hazards they may encounter in the course of their educational or work-related activities on campus. Workplace safety inspections, training, and federal and state regulation compliance are initiated through this office.
The mission of security management is to provide a safe and secure learning/working environment for the students, staff, and visitors of Austin Community College, as well as protect district facilities and assets. For more information go to austincc.edu/security.
The emergency management program is focused on the prevention and mitigation of hazards and the implementation of an effective response and recovery plan for emergencies affecting the college. Look for Campus Safety Plans and Emergency Procedures posters in classroom. Students with disabilities should review specific emergency plans with the Office for Students with Disabilities at the campus they attend. Sign up for ACC Emergency Alerts to be notified by phone and text message in the event of a serious emergency. For more information, including specific emergency procedures, go to austincc.edu/emergency.
Property and casualty claims are reported, monitored, and managed through this department. The department is also responsible for any student insurance such as student accident, student travel coverage, and student/faculty professional liability. Additional information is located at austincc.edu/ehs/Insurance.
Student Accident Insurance
For the most updated information, see austincc.edu/ehs/Insurance.
Student Health Insurance and Medical
Information concerning optional Student Health Insurance and Medical Discount Card can be found at austincc.edu/ehs/Insurance under Optional Student Health Insurance.
As the official ultimately responsible for ACC's compliance with environmental, health, and safety regulations, the ACC president requires that all ACC employees, students, and visitors:
- Report hazardous conditions and safety concerns immediately to their supervisors, instructors, hosts, and/or emergency management personnel, as appropriate.
- Abide by safe practices and procedures established by the college.
- Cooperate fully with the ACC Environmental Health, Safety, and Insurance Office in addressing environmental, health and safety issues.
- Adhere to all local, state, and federal regulations concerning environmental, health, and safety issues.
- Cooperate fully with environmental, health, and safety inspectors from local, state, and federal agencies.
- Take action to resolve safe workplace issues when appropriate.
The Environmental Health, Safety and Insurance Office is responsible for the development, implementation and management of environmental health and safety, life safety, security management, emergency management and insurance programs at ACC. For more information go to austincc.edu/ehs
"Communicable disease means an illness that occurs through the transmission of infectious agent toxic products from a reservoir to a susceptible host," according to the Texas Health and Safety Code, Sec. 81.003, et Seg. Communicable diseases include, but are not limited to, measles, influenza, viral hepatitis-A (infectious hepatitis), viral hepatitis-B (serum hepatitis), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV infection), AIDS, AIDS-related complex (ARC), HIV infection (human immunodeficiency virus infection) and AIDS, meningitis, meningococcal infections, and tuberculosis. The term "HIV infection" shall include AIDS, AIDS-related complex (ARC), and a positive test for the antibody to human immunodeficiency virus. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (a result of HIV infection).
Any decision that ACC makes concerning a person who has a communicable disease shall be based on current and well-informed medical judgment, which includes the nature of the disease, risk of transmission to others, symptoms, and special circumstances of the person. The decision that a person poses a threat will be based solely on knowledge of the duration of the risk; nature and severity of the potential harm; likelihood the potential harm will occur; and imminence of the potential harm.
Clinical and Lab Supervision
ACC requires college faculty and students participating in clinical and laboratory programs that require the handling of blood, blood products, or body fluids to observe standard precautions and safety guidelines prescribed by the U.S. Public Health Service. College faculty will supervise students in clinical and laboratory experiences and monitor compliance with the precautions and guidelines prescribed by the U.S. Health Service.
Educational pamphlets on the subject of HIV/AIDS prevention are available in the Student Services Office and are provided to students upon request. Likewise, information on prevention of other communicable diseases shall be made available upon request. This information is available through the Environmental Health, Safety, and Insurance Office. The college also requires students to read information on bacterial meningitis (its causes and how to avoid it) as part of the application process.
The medical history or records of any employee or student are considered confidential information and may not be released without the individual's consent, except as otherwise provided by law.
No healthcare facilities (trained medical personnel, infirmary, or student health center) are available at ACC campuses, centers, or sites. First aid supplies are available through the ACC Police Department and in various administrative and instructional areas. Students with health problems should consult their family physicians. ACC will assist students without family physicians to identify health programs in the community for which they may qualify. Students must report health emergencies immediately to the ACC Police Dispatch (222 from ACC phone or 223.7999 from non-ACC phones) and to campus administration. The ACC Police Department will call for outside emergency services if necessary.
The Austin Community College District is committed to maintaining a safe, healthy, and productive teaching and learning environment, and seeks to support and promote good health practices for employees and students. The College District prohibits the use, distribution, and/or sale of smoke-producing tobacco and related products and devices by any person on all premises owned, rented, leased, or supervised by the College District, including all College District facilities, buildings, and grounds. Board Policy C-10. Safe and Healthy Teaching and Learning Environment
The Austin Community College District has procedures in place to help ensure the safety of students during an emergency. Emergency instruction signs and campus safety plans are posted in each campus classroom. The campus safety plans indicate evacuation routes, outside rally locations, and indoor shelter-in-place areas. Administrators-in-charge and emergency coordinators are designated in all facilities to assist students and staff in an emergency.
In an EMERGENCY, call
222 from any ACC phone
from an outside line
Emergency Procedures and Campus Safety Plans are posted in each campus classroom. Please review these plans to learn evacuation routes, outside rally locations, and indoor shelter-in-place areas. Campuses are equipped with alarms, electronic message boards, loud speakers, and outside callboxes. In addition, there are trained administrators-in-charge and emergency coordinators who will assist students and staff. Students with disabilities should review specific emergency plans with the Office for Students with Disabilities at the campus they attend.
You also can receive emergency alerts by voicemail and text message ONLY if you register your phone number with the Emergency Notification System. See austincc.edu/emergency for instructions.
Severe Weather/Outdoor Hazards
- Move immediately to shelter-in-place areas indicated on the Campus Safety Plans posted in each classroom.
- Shelter-in-place areas are located in the center of the building, and away from glass. If time permits, move to lower floors.
- Do not use elevators. Do not exit the building.
- Await the "all clear" message from the administrator-in-charge or emergency coordinator.
- Leave the building through the nearest, safe exit.
- Take personal belongs if they are in the same room.
- Close all doors behind you. Do not lock them.
- Report to the evacuation rally point. You must be accounted for at rally point.
- Do not run. Do not use elevators
- Await the "all clear" message from the administrator-in-charge or an emergency coordinator.
Armed Intruder/Gunman on Campus
- Call 222 from any campus phone or 223.7999 from any outside line.
- Turn off lights, close and lock doors.
- Get on the floor out of the line of fire. Seek available cover.
- Await the "all clear" message from a police officer or authorized, known voice.