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Change Ahead: What’s New for AY 2014

Public Information and College Marketing has compiled a reference guide of new developments and requirements impacting students, faculty, and staff in AY 2014. Click on the AY 14 Change Guide or read about them here.

Academic Master Plan
ACC introduces its Academic Master Plan in October.  The plan includes instructional and student services initiatives that will guide the college as it seeks to fulfill its mission of student success while remaining aligned with community needs. The three-year plan will help direct the efforts of instructional, student services, and other programs beginning in 2014. It will be reviewed and updated annually, on a rolling three-year basis.

Assessment Testing
A new statewide assessment test is replacing all existing assessment tests, including the COMPASS. Incoming students who are not exempt from Texas Success Initiative requirements and current students who want to test out of developmental courses will take the new TSI State Test beginning Aug. 26. All Texas public colleges and universities will have the same cut scores, set by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).  Students must complete an online preparation module before taking the test, and those scoring below the minimum required for credit classes will take a diagnostic test. Read more about changes in assessment testing.

Degree Map Tool
ACC continues to implement the Degree Map online tool. The application will be used to create individualized education plans for students and track their progress toward degree completion. Group training of faculty and staff will continue through Aug. 23. Student Services then will implement the advising component of the application and prepare to train students. The Degree Map implementation is part of the Integrated Planning and Advising Systems (IPAS) Market Acceleration Project funded by a grant from the Gates Foundation. Contact Melissa Biegert, IPAS/ECHS director, for information about the implementation or training.

Developmental Math
A new course, Foundations of Mathematical Reasoning (MATD 0455), allows students who test at the MATD 0370 level or who have completed MATD 0330 to move through ACC’s college-level statistics course, MATH 1342, in a two-semester sequence. Students first take MATD 0455 (not a credit course) along with a co-requisite course, Frameworks for Mathematics and Collegiate Learning (EDUC 1300). Students complete the sequence by taking specific sections of Elementary Statistics (MATH 1342). MATD 0455 is part of the New Mathways Program, a statewide collaboration of Texas community colleges and the University of Texas at Austin Dana Center. See more information about MATD 0455.

Elgin Campus
The newest campus in the ACC District begins serving Bastrop County and eastern Travis County this fall. The campus is located on Highway 290 in Elgin, which joined the district in 2010. The Elgin Campus is the launching ground for new workforce programs requested by the community. Sustainable Agricultural Entrepreneurship launches this fall with classes taught through Continuing Education. A Veterinary Technician Program launches in spring under the oversight of the Health Sciences Division.

Emergency Notifications
A new system will simplify the process for receiving ACC Emergency Alerts, the automated voice, text, and email notifications sent in the event of a threat on campus. Signing up for alerts will no longer be necessary: faculty, staff, and students simply verify their information in Online Services to make sure they receive notifications at their preferred number(s).

All ACCmail addresses will receive emergency notifications from “ACC Emergency Alert”; voice messages will come from an internal ACC phone number (512-223-2222), and text messages will be from “@alert.austincc.edu.” ACC Emergency Alert with be powered by the RSAN (Roam Secure Alert Network) system, currently in use at the University of Texas (multiple campuses), Lone Star College, El Paso Community College, and others. The new system will be implemented in September. View the Emergency Alert webpage for information.

Hays Campus
ACC’s 10th campus is scheduled to open in January for the spring semester. View the Hays Campus webpage and the FacStaff webpage to stay updated on developments.

Highland Opening
The first phase of ACC Highland is scheduled to open in fall 2014, and will include the Math Emporium, classrooms, a student commons area, a library, science labs, and faculty offices. Keep up-to-date on the Highland Center webpage.

Meningitis Law Change
The applicable age for the meningitis vaccination requirement is being lowered to 22 from 30 for the spring semester. Incoming ACC students impacted by the law can register for spring classes; however, they must fulfill the requirement by their tuition payment deadline or they are dropped from classes. See more details on the immunizations webpage.

PACE/University Co-Enrollment
ACC, the University of Texas at Austin, and Texas State University in San Marcos begin a co-enrollment program with the fall 2013 semester. Students participating in the Path to Admission through Co-Enrollment (PACE) take most of their courses at ACC along with one course each semester at UT or Texas State until they complete the core curriculum. PACE students then continue their education at their university without applying for admission. Read about the PACE program.

Waitlisting
Beginning fall 2013 ACC will offer waitlisting only for classes taught in these standard teaching sessions:

  • Fall/spring 16-week, 12-week, and first 8-week/second 8-week
  • Summer 11-week, 9-week, and first 5.5-week/second 5.5-week

Waitlisting remains at the discretion of individual departments. Faculty can check with their department’s administrative assistant to find out whether their courses have waitlists. Waitlists are available to students during regular registration, which typically ends the Wednesday before classes start. View more information about waitlists.

Website Redesign
The college will unveil a new streamlined website this fall. The new site will make it easier for users, particularly first-time college students, to find information and complete tasks even if they are unfamiliar with ACC’s organizational structure or processes. Subject matter experts are testing and evaluating the new site in advance of the launch; content owners ultimately will use Drupal or other content management tools to easily update and maintain their information.

ACC FacStaff news (@accfacstaff) is coming to Twitter. Watch for details on the FacStaff page.

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