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, and faculty.

Return to Campus

Below you will find frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers about Austin Community College's plans, policies, and protocols for gradually returning to campus.

  • Am I required to wear a facial covering all of the time?
    • The health and safety of ACC students, employees, and visitors are paramount. Facial coverings/masks are required for anyone entering a campus – students, employees, and the public. They must be worn at all times. If you are alone in a private space such as an individual office your mask may be removed.  These guidelines are consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which makes clear that face coverings, in addition to social distancing measures, are among the most effective strategies in limiting the spread of COVID-19.

  • Do I need a parking pass for the summer semester?
    • No, Austin Community College District has waived parking pass requirements for summer 2020. You do NOT need to purchase a permit to park at an ACC campus or center during this period.
  • Do I need an ACC I.D. to enter the facilities?
    • Yes 

  • Do I have to wear an ACC I.D.?
    • 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. 

  • What if the person next to me is sick?
    • The college will designate an isolation room on all campuses near the designated entrance to the building. The rooms are equipped with information and resources regarding how and where to secure a COVID-19 test. In accordance with Austin Public Health guidelines, ACC strongly recommends that students and faculty experiencing symptoms go immediately for testing before returning home.

  • How do I know my classroom is safe?
    • Staff will disinfect classrooms as soon as classes are over. In order to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19, students and staff will also be reminded to disinfect their personal electronics on a regular basis.

  • Is the college taking any steps to increase or change cleaning protocols in light of COVID-19?
    • Restrooms and surfaces that are commonly touched will be regularly disinfected throughout the day. Soap is available in every restroom and sanitizing solution is available in or near every classroom.

  • I am an employee with authorization to come to campus but I had contact with someone who has symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?
    • ACC’s Executive Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael Garcia, sem-helpdesk@austincc.edu, is the college’s COVID-19 liaison and will initiate contact tracing for the person who presented with symptoms and will give you directions.

  • What should I do if I experience symptoms after being exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19?
    • ACC’s Executive Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael Garcia, sem-helpdesk@austincc.edu, is the college’s COVID-19 liaison. He will instruct anyone who is sick to stay home until they have documentation clearing them for return to campus or until all three of the following have been satisfied: 1) At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications); and, 2) The individual has improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and, 3) At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

  • What will ACC’s response be should someone on campus become ill due to COVID-19?
    • The college will designate an isolation room on all campuses near the designated entrance to the building. The rooms are equipped with information and resources regarding how and where to secure a COVID-19 test. In accordance with Austin Public Health guidelines, ACC strongly recommends that students and faculty experiencing symptoms go immediately for testing before returning home.

  • Will employees and students be required to provide a doctor's note now that we are returning to on-campus work if they have been ill?
    • ACC’s Executive Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael Garcia, sem-helpdesk@austincc.edu, is the college’s COVID-19 liaison. He will instruct anyone who is sick to stay home until they have documentation clearing them for return to campus or until all three of the following have been satisfied: 1) At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications); and, 2) The individual has improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and, 3) At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

  • Have our workspaces been disinfected per CDC guidelines?
    • Yes

General

  • Yes. Beginning Friday, April 24, ACC reduced campus hours of operation. ACC Highland, Round Rock, and Riverside campuses remain open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are closed on Saturday and Sunday. 

    Employees who require access to a closed building for emergency purposes after Friday, April 24, must contact ACC Police Dispatch at 512-223-1231 to schedule an appointment. You will need to provide approval of your vice president or AVP. All who come to campus are required to practice social distancing, wear a facial covering when around others, and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention steps for preventing the Coronavirus (COVID-19). See temporary hours of operation

    Starting, July 6, students and employees who need to enter an ACC building will be allowed access with an ACC identification card. The ID must be visible at all times while in the building. Lanyards will be provided if needed. If you lost your ID card or don't have one, you may secure one beginning Tuesday, June 9, through Friday, June 12. Visit Highland Business Center (5930 Middle Fiskville Rd.), Room 201 from 10 a.m. to noon and again from 1 to 4 p.m.

  • ACC campuses are closed until May 31. There will be no face-to-face classes or services through the spring semester. Beginning Friday, April 24, ACC will reduce campus hours of operation. ACC Highland, Round Rock, and Riverside campuses will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Saturday and Sunday. All other campuses will close until further notice. See temporary hours of operation.

  • All in-person events are canceled through summer. The college honored its Spring 2020 graduates with a virtual commencement celebration on Saturday, June 6. If you missed the celebration, you can still watch it online. Visit austincc.edu/commencement. All graduates also are invited to join ACC for the fall 2020 commencement held in December. 

  • ACC has canceled all college-related travel until further notice. Students, faculty, and staff traveling to affected areas (Level 2 or 3 as determined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) are required to report their visit to the college (see Self-Report Illness/Travel form above) and self-quarantine for 14 days after they return.

  • Students, faculty, and staff traveling to affected areas (Level 2 or 3 as determined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) are required to report their visit to the college (see Self-Report Illness/Travel above) and self-quarantine for 14 days after they return. Those who have been potentially exposed should be in immediate contact with local healthcare officials to receive appropriate guidance. Any ACC student or employee with symptoms or exposure to the COVID-19 virus also should inform their professor(s) or supervisor and complete the college’s self-report form.

  • If a COVID-19 case is confirmed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols will be followed. Those who have had close contact with the individual will be contacted and monitored by the Austin Public Health Department or their local health department.

  • Any student, faculty, or staff member who is sick with fever should follow their standard healthcare measures by contacting their healthcare provider and notifying their professor(s) or supervisor. Those who display symptoms that could be COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider, notify their professor(s) or supervisor, and complete ACC’s self-report form (see Self-Report Illness/Travel above).

  • You can help prevent the spread of illness and reduce the impact on our community by taking common precautions:

    • Practice social distancing by avoiding crowded areas and keeping 6 feet of distance from others.
    • Wash your hands frequently, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Wear facial covering in public.
    • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Cover your mouth with tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
    • Stay home if exhibiting respiratory symptoms such as a cough, difficulty breathing, or fever until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of medication. Contact your healthcare provider and notify your instructor or supervisor.
  • For the latest information about coronavirus, visit the dedicated CDC webpage.

  • Austin Public Health (APH) established multiple methods to obtain COVID-19 testing. To make testing more accessible, APH offers mobile testing in neighborhoods where residents may have difficulty visiting a drive-thru testing location or Community Care clinic. To reduce the technology barrier to testing, APH also expanded public testing enrollment to its nursing hotline. If you wish to complete the COVID-19 Public Testing Enrollment Form via phone, call 512-972-5560. You will be asked to complete an assessment by phone. Once complete, the call taker will assist you in scheduling a test. The hours of the nursing hotline are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Online enrollment remains open at austintexas.gov/COVID-19.

  • Austin-Travis County established an isolation facility (ISOFAC) at a hotel for those who cannot safely self-isolate at home (e.g. tight living quarters with family members). This option is available to patients who tested positive for COVID-19, as well as those who are under monitoring or investigation for the virus. Individuals who wish to stay at the ISOFAC should call the intake line at 512-810-7554 to make arrangements. Residents may be required to provide proof-of-testing status if they did not enroll with APH for testing. Individuals eligible to stay at the ISOFAC are not charged for the service. Patients who stay at an ISOFAC have their own free hotel room with food and WiFi. 

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 records, 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.

  • Work-study students are not expected to be on-campus. Work-study students will be paid for their regular schedule.

  • 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.

  • During the unprecedented spring and summer 2020 semesters, ACC has adjusted some of the grading and course completion options for students.  There are important items to consider when choosing the best grading option for you.  Please read these thoroughly and if needed, reach out to the appropriate department with additional questions you may have. Referral and contact information is provided in each section.  

    Information and details about ACC’s grading options during this time can be found here >  

Faculty & Staff

  • Staffing table employees will remain on the regularly scheduled payroll. Adjuncts will continue to be paid for courses they are contracted to teach. Hourly and other staff will be paid for those hours appropriately scheduled by a supervisor with the authority to do so and worked remotely.

  • Yes. All ACC travel is canceled until further notice.

  • All non-faculty employees will keep their regular work schedule. Hourly employees will also maintain their schedule as determined by the supervisor. Faculty will work with their department chair regarding their schedule. The immediate supervisor will authorize any change to an employee’s regular work schedule.

  • Hourly employees will be able to make-up hours or be reassigned tasks or hours, if possible, to maintain their usual schedule. The supervisor is responsible for determining the schedule of hourly employees.

  • An hourly employee’s work schedule is determined and approved by the immediate supervisor. For this time period, the immediate supervisor may exceed the hourly maximum hours. The supervisor should follow the usual approval process.

  • The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) is available to all eligible employees including adjunct faculty and hourly employees. EPSLA provides ten work days (80 hours) of paid sick leave to eligible employees for health situations impacted by the COVID-19 virus. It also applies when an employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order of quarantine or self-quarantine or isolation or caring for an individual who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or self-isolate. In addition, it applies to an employee caring for a child of the employee and the child’s school or place of care has been closed or the child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 and the employee is unable to work onsite or remotely due to the child care issues. As of the date of the leave request, an employee must be on the ACC payroll and working, either on site or remotely. When an employee is approved for EPSLA, they will receive their regular rate of pay. For more information, visit the HR memo

  • Hourly employees will be paid their regular schedule through April 12. Beginning April 13, the employee will report actual hours in eTime.

  • In eTime the supervisor should report actual time and add administrative leave to maintain their pay for their regular schedule. The Office of Human Resources provided instructions for supervisors on 04/02/2020.

  • The supervisor should contact HR Benefits to discuss the employees’ needs and the appropriate accommodation.  Contact HR Benefits at Alisol.martinez@austincc.edu.

  • If a staffing table employee cannot work remotely due to the type of assignment and the employee is available for work (but there is none), the supervisor should enter the actual time plus administrative leave to ensure the employee maintains their compensation.

  • There are several ways to report time depending on whether the employee is able to work remotely. If the employee is able to work, the employee reports their regular schedule.  If not, the employee needs to contact Mike Garcia at Michael.garcia@austincc.edu to be approved for administrative leave.

  • Committees for faculty positions may still interview via WebEx and continue the hiring process. For non-faculty positions, most of the hiring has been suspended due to the need to conduct interviews. Positions may still be posted as approved by management.

  • The Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA) is an extension of and amends FMLA and is available to all eligible employees. An employee may request paid EFMLA leave if the employee is unable to work or telework due to the need to take care of a child of the employee under 18 years of age, if the child’s school is closed or the child’s care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19, and the employee meets the eligibility requirements. As of the date of the leave request, an employee must be on the ACC payroll and working, either on site or remotely. Employees who are unable to work due to COVID-19 school or daycare closures may apply for both the EPSLA and EFMLA, if eligible. When approved for EFMLA, employees will receive 2/3 their regular rate of pay during their leave based on the federal formula. For more information, visit the HR memo.

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 >

  • The official reporting date – the date by which rosters must be certified via Online Services – is now April 3. Faculty will receive reminder emails that reflect this new official reporting date.

  • 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
  • All ACC campuses, including Testing Centers, are closed through May 31. Exams for spring and summer courses should be held online and made available for students to take from home. Faculty should communicate directly with their students about specific testing options for their course. For more information about online testing at ACC, visit the Online Testing resource page.