Path to Admission through Co-Enrollment (PACE) begins with 2013-14 college freshmen. It is designed for students who rank in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class but do not qualify for automatic admission to UT Austin. Participating students will take most of their courses at ACC and one course each semester at UT Austin until they complete the core curriculum. Students can then continue their education at UT Austin without applying for admission.
“PACE represents two sectors of higher education working together to create better pathways for students to achieve their dreams,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president and CEO. “In this case, that dream is to achieve a bachelor’s degree from UT Austin. Through this program, we will give more students an opportunity to reach that goal while benefiting from both the UT Austin and ACC experience.”
Students will benefit academically from smaller, cohort-tailored classroom environments at ACC while simultaneously being exposed to student life and academic expectations of UT Austin. Academic advisors will work together to develop the students’ academic plans while top faculty members from both institutions will work to co-develop rigorous credit-bearing courses.
Prior to their first semester, students will consult with an on-campus academic advisor and enroll in a Signature Course, a required, smaller format, writing intensive first-year course, at UT Austin. At the same time, students will work with an ACC academic advisor to select and enroll in core curriculum courses that align with their personal and professional goals. UT Austin and ACC will co-develop advising strategies to set students on a personalized path for college success.
“Our first-year Signature Course is critical for helping students in their transition to university-level work,” said Bill Powers, president of the University of Texas at Austin. “This arrangement helps ensure that our many transfer students do not miss out on this formative experience. What’s more, the skills they learn in our Signature Courses will serve them well during their foundational studies at Austin Community College.”
PACE can result in financial savings for students. As co-enrolled students, participants will pay tuition to each institution for the credit hours in which they are enrolled.
ACC is the top source of transfer students to area universities, and ACC students who transfer to UT Austin perform, on average, better than other transfer students.
PACE differs from a typical transfer program by providing students with integrated academic plans, access to student services at both institutions, and the opportunity to directly engage in most aspects of student life at UT Austin. Upon successful completion of program requirements, including completion of the core curriculum at ACC and achievement of at least a 2.5 grade-point average on a four-point scale, students will be eligible for automatic transfer admittance to UT Austin. Upon completion of the associate degree requirements, students will be eligible to receive an ACC associate degree.
To participate in PACE, students must be Texas residents who are eligible for automatic admission under the state’s top 10 percent law but who do not qualify for automatic admission to UT Austin and who applied to UT Austin for freshman admission to the next summer or fall semester. (This year, this would apply to students ranked in the 9th or 10th percentiles.) Students invited to participate were notified online through MyStatus, the university’s admissions portal, and by mail.
ACC and UT Austin recently announced a reverse transfer agreement, allowing students to combine credits to earn an associate degree — even if they transfer before community college graduation.
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