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

  • ACC is open with in-person and online classes and support services for summer and fall 2021.

    All ACC campuses will have class options for students in the fall 2021 semester, including in-person, hybrid, and online sections.

  • By September 1, all employees will be expected to return to work, unless the supervisor and EVP/VP have approved a telework agreement.

  • 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.

  • Development of a telework policy is in process. However, supervisors and the EVP/VP may determine that some positions, due to the nature of the work, may remain remote. Employees will have an opportunity to request remote work if it is available in the department.

  • All ACC Campuses will be open for the fall 2021 semester. 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.

  • 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.

  • Yes, offices will reopen as employees return to in-person work.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Protocols

  • Beginning July 6, the start of the second summer session, students and employees will no longer be required to fill out the Appian health screening app. Further, students, faculty, and staff will be allowed to enter ACC facilities from all public entrances. Social distancing will continue to be encouraged. Additional information is available here.

  • The college encourages everyone to be respectful of others by practicing social distancing of at least 3-feet.

  • No. Due to the Governor’s executive order disallowing mask mandates for governmental agencies, ACC is no longer able to require anyone to wear a facial covering our campuses. You may wear a mask but will no longer be required to do so. ACC encourages face masks for anyone who has not been completely vaccinated.

Employees

  • ACC is implementing a new telework policy to identify opportunities for 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. The college’s telework policy is in development and is expected to be announced in summer 2021.

  • Supervisors and the VP/EVP will determine whether a position is eligible for telework. ACC employees should contact their supervisor for approval and 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.

  • TBD

  • While the hiring freeze has not been lifted, supervisors are able to submit requests to fill critical positions.

  • 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.

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.

  • 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 >

  • 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.