Welcome to Austin Community College
ACC Organizational Reference, 2013-2014
Glossary of Terms
spacer In higher education and specifically at ACC, you’ll often hear acronyms or specialized terminology. This glossary is provided to help explain these.

A  B  C  D  E  G  H  I  M  O  P  R  S  T  W

AACC - American Association of Community Colleges, the national community college advocacy organization. 

ABE - Adult Basic Education 

ACC - Austin Community College

ACCT - Association of Community College Trustees organization which promotes professional development and standards advocated for effective trusteeship. 

AARO - Austin Area Research Organization is a group of CEOs who work to promote economic development and to advocate business/industry needs to the public education sector. 

ADJUNCT FACULTY - Instructors employed on a part-time basis. 

ADVISORY COMMITTEES - All ACC workforce education programs are required by the State to have external Advisory Committees composed of business professionals who help evaluate the programs’ instructional objectives and success in producing students who graduate with the requisite skills needed in the employment sector. 

AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS - Affiliate Organizations include the following: 

AFT - American Federation of Teachers, ACC/AFT 
AAUP - American Association of University Professors 
TABPHE - Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education 
TACHE - Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education 
TCCTA - Texas Community Colleges Teachers Association

ANNEXATION - The legal process by which an out-of-district community joins the ACC District as in-district residents paying property taxes in support of College operations, and in return receive lower in-district tuition rates. Annexation is typically referred to as “joining” ACC. 

ARQIP - Administrative Response to Quality Improvement Plan

ASSESSMENT - Assessment is used in multiple ways within higher education. 

  • For students, assessment typically refers to the assessment of college-level skills in reading, writing, and mathematics which is used to determine appropriate course placement. 
  • For the institution as a whole, institutional assessment is typically reflected in the types of measurements used to assess institutional quality or compliance with external regulations. 

AVP - Associate Vice President

BASE PERIOD/BASE YEAR/BASE FUNDING - The semesters which comprise the year of contact hours of instruction which the State uses to develop its funding formula for public colleges and universities. 

BASE SALARY - An employee’s annual salary that excludes overtime, incidental assignments and any part-time teaching assignments. 

BENEFITS ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES - Employees who are in annually budgeted positions (also referred to as Staffing Table positions) and who meet TRS/ERS eligibility criteria. 

BOT - Board of Trustees


CYP = Cypress Creek
EVC = Eastview
HBC = Highland Business Center
NRG = Northridge
PIN = Pinnacle

RGC = Rio Grande
RVS = Riverside
SVC = Administrative Service Center
RRC = Round Rock Campus
SAC = South Austin Campus

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CARVER MODEL - See Policy Governance.     

CBM - See Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

CBM## - Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Report

CG - Cluster Group

CH - Contact Hours

CICG - Credit Instruction Cluster Group

CIP - (IPEDS) Classification of Instructional Programs

CLASSIFIED STAFF- Support Staff who are employed by the College and who are on the official Staffing Table.     

CLOSING THE GAPS - An initiative of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board intended to increase the college-going rate in Texas so that the State can maintain an educated workforce necessary to support business and industry and to maintain and promote economic development. 

CO-BOARD - See Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board 

CO-ENROLLMENT - Typically refers to students who are co-enrolled between one or more institutions. For example, students may be co-enrolled at ACC as well as UT Austin or another local institution.

For high school students, Co-Enrollment refers to an eligible high school student taking a college credit class while still enrolled in high school. The co-enrollment course at ACC is not used to satisfy the high school student’s graduation plan. 

COLLEGE ASSOCIATE (CA) - An hourly position designed to enable eligible adjunct instructors to work part-time in a non-faculty position in addition to teaching as an adjunct, for the purpose of becoming eligible for benefits. The positions are most often used in Student Services areas such as advising, testing center, etc. See also IA. 

COMPASS TEST - An assessment of basic skills instrument. See also Assessment and Texas Success Initiative

CONTACT HOURS - Contact hours are the basis of State reimbursement to the College and represent the number of hours of instruction provided to students in a given course. Contact hours are not necessarily one-to-one, because most lab components of courses are calculated at 75% of the actual hours of lab instruction. 

Example: ENGL 1301 (English 1301- Freshman Composition I) has 3 credit hours of instruction per week, or a total of 48 contact hours of instruction between faculty and students during the semester or session. If ENGL 1301 has 28 students in it, then the College will report a total of 1, 344 contact hours (48 hours times 28 students) for reimbursement from the State. 

CONTINUING EDUCATION - Non-credit courses and programs, often in adult workforce or avocational areas. 

CREDIT HOURS - Credit hours tell students two things: 

  • The “hours value” of a college credit course – i.e., how many hours are applied to completion of a certificate or degree plan. 
  • How much tuition is charged for a course. 

Example: ENGL 1301 is English 1301 (Freshman Composition I) is 3-credit hours. The credit hour value of a course is always indicated by the second number of the course number. 

CREDIT-IN-ESCROW - A course which is part of an articulated Tech-Prep agreement between a public high school and ACC. After high school graduation, the student continues at ACC and, after successfully completing a college class, is awarded credit-in-escrow for previous high school course work. 
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DATATEL - The College’s integrated management information system. 

DEVELOPMENTAL EDUCATION - Programs designed to provide college-readiness skills in such areas as reading, writing, mathematics, and study skills. 

DIR - Directed Studies see also Distance Learning.

DISTANCE LEARNING -Distance Learning refers to instruction is delivered wholly or in part by distance learning technologies such as interactive televised instruction (ITV), print-based (PRN), personal computer with modem (PCM), or Directed Studies (DIR). 

DUAL CREDIT - Eligible high school students may be allowed to take a college credit course which will earn college credit and also satisfy the high school graduation plan’s required course. 

E-STAFFING - ACC’s electronic system of capturing the teaching preferences of adjunct faculty and of assigning credit sections to adjunct faculty. 

E-TIME - ACC’s electronic system of time-keeping for employees (time sheets, tracking of leave). 

EARLY COLLEGE START (ECS) - Early College Start program in which eligible public high school juniors and seniors may earn college credit prior to graduating from high school. Also see definitions of Co-Enrollment, Credit-in-Escrow, and Dual Credit. 

EFFECTIVENESS -See Institutional Effectiveness

EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATIONS - Recognized employee organizations of ACC include the Classified Employees Association (CEA), Association of Professional-Technical Employees (APTE), Adjunct Faculty Association (AFA), and Full-Time Faculty Senate (usually referred to as the Senate). 

EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT SYSTEM (ERS) - Employee Retirement System of Texas, which administers public college and university employees’ insurance and retirement programs. 

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY (EHS) - Term used in facilities/master planning for ensuring safe learning and work environment for students, faculty and staff. Often the term is used in the Risk Management Office reports of general health and safety training/issues. 

Top of pageESL - English-as-a-Second Language 

EXECUTIVE SESSION - A closed meeting of the Board of Trustees, under allowable conditions allowed by State law. Executive Sessions are limited to personnel, litigation, and real estate matters. 

FASB - (IPEDS) Financial Accounting Standards Board

FICE CODE - (IPEDS) Federal Interagency Committee on Education Code

GASB - (IPEDS) Government Accounting Standards Board

GED - General Equivalency Degree - an alternative to a high school diploma. 

GIPWE - Guidelines for Instructional Programs in Workforce Education, THECB guidelines for vocational-technical degree programs. 

GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA) - The grade point average of a student is calculated by dividing the number of credit hours into the total grade points (4 point system with A = 4 points, B = 3 points, C= 2 points, D = 1 point, F = 0 points). A GPA of 2.0 is the same as a “C” average. 

HEGIS - (IPEDS) Higher Education General Information Survey

HOURLY EMPLOYEES - Employees who work less than half time and do not meet TRS eligibility criteria. 

IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE - Federal agency which prescribes requirements for international students. 

IN-DISTRICT - Refers to residents who live within ACC’s tax-paying districts. If one lives or owns property within AISD, LISD, MISD, or DVISD they are in-district, meaning they pay taxes in support of the College and receive lower in-district tuition rates. See also Out-of-District

IN-HOUSE -  Refers to “within-ACC” provision of services or eligibility for employment. For example, a facilities-related project may be done “in-house” meaning Facilities and Operations staff will perform the work rather than an external professional or an employment position may be posted “in-house” meaning that only existing employees are eligible to apply for the position. 

INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS  - Institutional Effectiveness refers to the process of establishing effectiveness measures to ensure that the College is meeting its intended outcomes. The Office of Effectivenes and Accountability works with all college units to establish goals and measures, which are then used to analyze college effectiveness and to guide continuous quality improvement efforts. 

INSTRUCTIONAL ASSOCIATE (IA) - An hourly position designed to enable eligible adjunct instructors to work in a non-faculty position in addition to teaching adjunct, for the purpose of becoming eligible for benefits. The positions are most often used in instructional support areas such as Learning Labs, science labs or other areas which support instruction. See also CA. 

IPC - Institutional Planning Committee

IPEDS -Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System for collecting national data and benchmarks. 

IPR - Institutional Program Review

IPRS - Institutional Program Review Summary

ITV - Instructional television (“canned” or “interactive”) - see also Distance Learning. 
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MULTIPLE SEMESTER TERM APPOINTMENT (MSTA) - MSTA positions are designed for eligible adjunct instructors for the purpose of providing seniority in assignment of courses, and to provide a measure of security in receiving an established workload of classes to teach (subject to evaluation status, meeting accreditation standards, etc.). 

NCES - The National Center for Education Statistics

OIE - Office of Institutional Effectiveness

ONE COLLEGE - Refers to ACC operating as a single college, with multiple campuses and centers rather than as a multi-college district. The “one-college concept” is intended to ensure consistency of programs and services delivered across the district. 

OPEN MEETINGS - Refers to regular public meetings of the Board of Trustees. Meetings must be posted in advance and are open to all. 

ORP - Optional Retirement Program is a personal retirement program offered to eligible faculty and staff in lieu of TRS. 

OUT-OF-DISTRICT - Refers to residents who live outside ACC’s in-district taxing boundaries which are defined by the independent school district boundaries of Austin, Del Valle, Leander, and Manor Independent School Districts. If one resides in an out-of-district area, higher out-of-district tuition rates are charged. 

PA - Personnel Authorization, the document used to officially employ faculty and staff. 

PCM - Courses taught by personal computer modem - see also Distance Learning

PEP - Performance Excellence Program, the evaluation program for classified, professional-technical, and administrative employees. 

POLICY GOVERNANCE - A model for board governance (also referred to as Carver Model) which is designed to assist governing boards in focusing on accountability to the “ownership” of the College while prescribing expected outcomes to be achieved by the institution. 

POSITION NUMBER - The official number assigned to staffing table positions. 

PROFESSIONAL-TECHNICAL (or PROF-TECH) - Employees who are on the official Staffing Table  and whose job functions usually require some level of specialized or mid-management level training. 

PRN -  Print-based instruction - see also Distance Learning.    

PSF - Program Status Form

QIP - Quality Improvement Form

REVOLVING DOOR  - A term used in higher education to describe an undesirable condition in which students are welcomed to enroll, but may not be adequately supported and thus may end up not being retained. 

RRHEC -  Round Rock Higher Education Center, the collaborative multi-institution teaching center operated by Texas State University at San Marcos, and in which ACC is the primary partner institution, offering college courses to residents of Round Rock, Texas. 

SACS - Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, ACC’s accreditation organization. SACS establishes the quality standards the College agrees to meet. 

SCH - Semester Credit Hours

SERVICE AREA - The legally designated area in which ACC is to offer programs and services, as defined by the State of Texas. ACC’s Service Area includes all or parts of 8 counties, which are further defined as In-District or Out-of-District. 

SERVICE LEARNING - An educational strategy in which community-based experiential learning opportunities are incorporated into the curriculum. 

SEVIS - System for reporting enrollments and demographic information of international students admitted by the College. See also Immigration and Naturalization Service

SHARED GOVERNANCE - The system by which ACC solicits input and collaboration from faculty, staff, and students. 
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STUDENT RIGHT TO KNOW AND CAMPUS SECURITY ACT -  A federal law in which institutions must make certain information available to students and the general public upon request. These include police and safety information as well as course completion rates and other course information. 

STAFFING TABLE - The official employment table of College positions which are funded annually (see also Benefits Eligible Employees). 

TEC - Texas Education Code

TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY COLLEGES (TACC) - Texas Association of Community Colleges, the state association which advocates for effective public policy regarding the role of community colleges. 

TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY (TEA) - The State agency assigned to oversee public secondary (K-12) education in Texas. 

TEXAS HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD (THECB) - The State agency assigned to oversee public higher education in Texas. 

TEXAS SUCCESS INITIATIVE (TSI) -  State-mandated basic skills assessment program for incoming college credit students. Assessment of basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics is required unless certain exemption criteria are met. See also Assessment and Compass Testing

TRS -  Teacher Retirement System, which offers retirement program for Texas public education employees. 

U-LEAD - Unit-Level Effectiveness Assessment Documentation

WECM - Workforce Education Course Manual, THECB guidelines for vocational-technical courses. 


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