Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers about Austin Community College's response to COVID-19 as it relates to general collegewide information, as well as specific topics for students, faculty & staff.

Vaccinations

  • The college strongly encourages but does not require vaccinations.

  • ACC employees are eligible for up to four hours of Administrative Leave in order to get their first and second  COVID vaccination. This temporary allowance allows for two hours of leave per shot. Employees must make arrangements with their supervisors and record it as Administrative Leave.

  • Employees who previously used personal/sick leave for their COVID-19 vaccine will have an opportunity to reclassify their leave to Administrative Leave.

  • The college hosts a series of COVID-19 vaccination clinics at campuses districtwide. To view the schedule, visit the COVID-19 Vaccinations web page

  • No. That is health information and the College does not require that an employee or student report having received a vaccine.

Return to Campus

  • The current return to work date for all employees is Monday, September 13. However, due to business operations some employees will be asked to return before that date and others may work a hybrid schedule. Supervisors are responsible for determining the work schedule. Circumstances are constantly changing and so, employees will be advised of any changes. Employees should contact their supervisor for guidance.

     

  • Yes. All employees and students are required to wear and properly display their ACC I.D. badge/card while on ACC premises or buildings at all times. Visitors must obtain a daily Visitor Badge during screening.

  • Staff disinfect classrooms as soon as classes are over. Restrooms and surfaces that are commonly touched also are regularly disinfected throughout the day. Soap is available in every restroom and sanitizing solution is available in or near every classroom. In order to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19, students and staff are reminded to disinfect their personal electronics on a regular basis. 

    ACC's internal procedures meet and/or exceed the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard for educational facilities. To date, there have been no documented cases of room to room transmission of small particles through HVAC systems in the United States. 

    Current research indicates that the small particles travel no more than 5-6’ into the ductwork. In addition, the reduced occupancy that we have implemented, along with adjustments to our ventilation systems optimize fresh air and exhaust.

  • ACC is implementing a new telework policy to manage remote work when it is in the best interest of ACC, meets the needs of ACC’s business operations, enhances staff productivity and supports student success. 

    Supervisors and the VP/EVP will determine whether a position is eligible for telework. ACC employees should contact their supervisor to make a request to continue to work remotely and for guidance on flexible work arrangements and telework options. The job duties must be appropriate for such assignments to achieve productivity levels and expectations. The decision to authorize these options is within ACC management’s discretion based on the nature of the work performed and other business considerations. A Telework Agreement must be completed and signed by the employee and the employee’s supervisor. It must have the department vice president’s or higher approval prior to the employee initiating a telework arrangement.

  • All ACC Campuses will be open for the fall 2021 semester on a limited schedule.  Days and hours of operation will vary by campus and by service. The days/hours of campus operations will be jointly determined by Instruction/Student Services/ and Campus Operations. Details will be posted here.

  • In fall 2021, ACC will significantly increase the number of face-to-face classes on campus. The college will offer a blended and balanced schedule of in-person and online course options including hybrid classes so that students may find the courses they need in the learning environment that works best for them.

    Many courses will be held online for the first three weeks of the semester from August 23 through September 12. Courses that require in-person instruction, including labs, will still be held on-campus. Those that can be moved to online formats will do so for this period.

     

  • Class sizes will continue to be reduced in summer and fall 2021. We expect to return to normal class sizes by spring 2022.

  • All student support services will be available both in-person and online by fall 2021. Find student support resources here.

  • The college’s safety plans will remain in effect with updates that are currently underway to reflect reductions in community virus load, uptake of vaccinations, CDC guidelines, and new executive orders.

  • Visitors must check in at the Campus Manager’s Office upon arrival. All visitors will be required to complete ACC’s health screening APP. Those who don’t have the app can get assistance in the Campus Manager’s Office. Visitors also must obtain a daily Visitor Badge. While on campus, visitors are required to follow the college’s health and safety protocols, including wearing a face mask while inside ACC buildings.

  • Beginning Monday, September 20, ACC will offer free COVID-19 testing at Round Rock, Highland, Riverside, and Eastview campuses. The testing, provided by Curative, is free to ACC students and employees. Below is the current schedule. Additional dates and times will be added. Please check back soon. 

    Monday, 9/20
    : 8a-5p at Eastview Campus | Map
    Tuesday, 9/21: 8a-5p at Round Rock Campus | Map
    Wednesday, 9/22: 8a-5p at Highland Campus | Map
    Thursday, 9/23: 8a-5p at Riverside Campus | Map

    To find other testing locations near you, click this link.

  • While not required, students are encouraged to make appointments to maximize their time and reduce waiting times. One campus in each region (Central: Highland, South: Riverside, and North: Round Rock) should have greater availability of days/times for student services. Dr. Buchanan will work with staff to determine days/times for different services at different campuses. Now through the virtual three-weeks, all destination Campuses, Highland, Round Rock, and Riverside are able to provide all student services. Students are encouraged to make appointments to avoid wait times or having to schedule for another date/time.

  • If an employee has a medical condition that prevents the employee from returning to work, the employee should notify their supervisor and review the information and application related to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) or FMLA. The employee should submit the application and required paperwork to HR Benefits. Contact HR Benefits for more information.

  • No. Childcare is no longer covered under the federal regulations. Employees should make arrangements as soon as possible so they can return to work as scheduled.

Protocols

  • The college strongly encourages everyone to respect others' personal space and practice social distancing of at least 3-feet. 

  • Yes. The ACC Board of Trustees issued a mandate on Friday, August 13, requiring all who come to campus to wear a face mask. Effective August 20, 2021, anyone who is 2 years of age or older, will be required to wear a face mask in all ACC buildings

  • Yes, if you experience COVID-19 symptoms per the CDC, you should stay home, seek medical care, notify your supervisor, and complete the COVID—19 self report.

  • Yes. Just as we do now, you are asked to report by filling out a form to self report positive COVID-19 cases. Instructions are available on the COVID-19 information website.

  • Starting Monday, August 16, ACC’s health app will be required for all students, employees, and visitors. You may download the app from our website. If you’re exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive, the app will provide you information about steps you can take to report your illness.

  • Yes, as individuals report COVID-19 cases, the college will continue to implement contact tracing procedures.

Employees

  • Domestic travel is allowed.

  • As of September 1, 2021, supervisors may  follow the college's regular posting and hiring processes.

  • ACC continues to offer employees a variety of support services including mental health services through our EAP. Free webinars are available now that share advice for how to cope with anxiety during difficult times. Click here to watch. To access the full Deer Oaks EAP webinar series on pandemic support, click here. A pandemic support fact sheet is available here.

    If the employee has a severe or critical case that prevents the employee from gainful activity, the employee should discuss their condition with their health care professional and consider applying for ADA accommodations or FMLA. 

     

  • Supervisors are responsible for the employee’s work and work schedule. The employees should discuss their situation with their immediate supervisor.

     

  • No. Employees will be able to enter through open doors. Employees and students should wear a mask and their ACC ID badge while on campus.

  • Telework is simply an alternative work location. ADA accommodations will only be made to the location where the employee is assigned to work.

  • The college follows CDC guidelines for best disinfecting and cleaning processes for COVID-19. This includes daily cleaning and disinfection. Those who wish to have more frequent cleaning or disinfecting may pick up supplies on campus. Please contact the Campus Manager’s Office to get supplies as needed.

  • • Employees who are working remotely may continue to work remotely when approved, as long as they are able to perform the essential functions of their job. 

    • If essential and core work functions must be performed on campus and the employee is not able to return to work due to a COVID-19 related reason (contact or exposure) or illness, the employee will not be able to continue to work remotely. The employee should use their accrued leave (sick, vacation, or personal) for their absence.

    • When an employee is not able to return to work for any reason related to COVID-19, the employee should use their accrued leave (sick, vacation or personal) for their absence. 

    • In any situation, an employee who is out sick for 3 or more days must submit a physician’s note to return to work to hrbenefits@austincc.edu prior to returning from leave.

    There are other leave programs that are available to employees:

    Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) https://www.austincc.edu/admrule/6.09.001Guideline.pdf
    The Sick Leave Pool: https://www.austincc.edu/admrule/6.09.010Guideline-Procedure.pdf
    For additional questions about leave and benefits, please email hrbenefits@austincc.edu

  • If a student in your class or office is displaying symptoms consistent with COVID, direct the student to the Dean of Student Affairs at your campus.  The Dean will meet privately with the student to discuss next steps.  If necessary, personnel from ACC’s Safety and Operations group will meet with you and your students to determine appropriate next steps, such as quarantine, moving the class online for some period, or other interventions.

Students

  • Students should pay online at austincc.edu/payments. If you have questions about your payment, email the Student Services Help Desk (helpdesk@austincc.edu).

  • Existing policies regarding attendance and participation remain in effect at this time. Classes and services will continue in their remote formats for the remainder of the spring semester.  ACC courses that require a significant hands-on component will be online instruction only. Face-to-face components for these courses are suspended for the remainder of the spring semester and students will have the option to finish in-person work in summer or fall.

  • If your course is currently taught in a classroom, it will transition into an online environment (for example, Blackboard). Your instructor will use this platform to share announcements, upload assignments, create discussion boards,  or share grades. It is important to stay in touch with your professor to determine what To familiarize yourself with Blackboard, you can watch tutorials here. For remote office hours or group sessions, your instructor may invite you to meet via Blackboard Collaborate, WebEx, Google Hangouts, or Google Meet.

  • All ACC campuses, including Testing Centers, are closed through May 31. Exams for spring and summer courses will be online tests that students can take from home. Students should check with their instructor for instruction about how testing will occur for their class. For more information about online testing at ACC, visit the Online Testing resource page

  • Yes. We will increase the availability of online services for students to ensure their needs are met. Currently, students can already access free online tutoringonline advisingonline library services; and online support for financial aid, admissions and enrollment, veterans affairs, and general ACC questions through the Student Affairs Help Desk.

  • A list of lower-cost health care resources, listed by county, is available on the Support Center Community Resources page, under Insurance and Medical.

  • If you don't have a personal computer, laptop, or tablet, complete the Student Technology Access Form. Please keep in mind resources are limited, but we will do our best to support your success.

  • A full list of academic, financial, and personal online resources are available at Remote Student Support.

  • ACC's enrollment teams offer virtual and in-person appointments to help you complete the admissions applications for credit programs, Continuing Education, and Adult Education. The college will provide in-person application assistance at Highland, Riverside, and Round Rock campuses beginning Monday, December 7, to enroll students for spring classes. Visitors must first schedule an appointment and follow COVID-19 safety protocols in order to enter the campus. Hours of operation and appointment information are available at austincc.edu/startnow.

Faculty

  • ACC has provided a Teaching Online Continuity Guide that includes how to get expert help, upcoming training, web conferencing options, resources, and frequently asked questions related to transitioning courses to an online format. Teaching Online: Continuity Guide >

  • Yes. Schedule a visit on the course consultation calendar.

  • At present, the college offers faculty three options for synchronous class sessions: WebEx, Blackboard Collaborate, and Google Meet. In addition, Zoom offers a free subscription. Zoom has recently lifted the 40-minute limit on free subscriptions for educational institutions, so that would be an option. We will likely not expend college resources on Zoom Pro at this time. See web conferencing information. 

  • Please read the Multiple Attempts section on the Blackboard Help page. For a test with one attempt, you can allow more attempts for a student who is blind and wants to use screen reader technology for the first time. If the settings exist for a test or survey, you can create these exceptions:

    • Number of attempts
    • Timer
    • Availability: Date and time the test is available to the student or group
    • Force completion
    • Restrict location
  • Effective Friday August 20, 2021, anyone who is 2 years of age or older will be required to wear a face mask while indoors at any ACC facility. We will have masks available throughout the campus for students, staff, and guests arriving without masks. Because this is an ACC policy, you may enforce the wearing of masks for students, staff, and guests while we are under a mask mandate. If the individual does not have a mask, please offer them one. If the student or individual refuses to wear the mask, you may offer student virtual support and refer individuals to the Dean if necessary. If refusal continues, you may state “I am unable to support you today because you’re not following the policies set forth by the college.” If the situation escalates, please work with your on-campus dean for next steps, which may include enforcement of sanctions with the student code of conduct. If the individual is being unruly and/or poses a risk to themselves or others, please work with Campus Police to assist in managing the situation.