Dear Faculty and Staff, It has been a challenging few months since the COVID-19 pandemic forced us all to adapt like never before. Together, we transitioned the college to a virtual teaching, learning, and working environment and remained focused on our students and their success. I am beyond proud of your teamwork, perseverance, and innovation. Now, it’s time we begin the gradual process to return to campus.
There are still many unknowns. It is imperative that we take a measured approach to prioritize the health and well-being of each and every member of our community.
Starting July 6, Austin Community College will implement its Return to Campus Plan. We established new protocols informed by the latest guidelines from national, state, and local health authorities as well as the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. While details are available online on the new Return to Campus website, I want to provide you an overview.
Returning in Phases
ACC will reopen in phases, allowing us the opportunity to learn, adjust as needed, and scale up thoughtfully. Starting in the second summer session, ACC will bring back a small number of student services and advanced workforce classes that require face-to- face interaction. If all goes well, we will expand those offerings in the fall. Staff who are needed to provide on-site support will also return. However, in an effort to limit on- campus traffic and person-to-person contact, the majority of our classes, services, and staff work will remain online.
Access to campuses and facilities will be limited to essential faculty and staff and students enrolled in face-to-face courses. All currently enrolled students also will have access to in-person learning support in each region of our district — at the Round Rock and Highland Campus ACCelerators and Hays Campus library. Appointments will be required.
Essential on-campus employees will be notified by their supervisors. Faculty and staff who need an occasional visit to their office to print documents or pick up materials must get supervisor approval and keep visits brief. Check campus hours of operations as needed.
Health & Safety Protocols
Please come prepared for new procedures. There will be one entrance at every building for students and employees. All who are on campus will be required to follow ACC’s Health & Safety Protocols, which include:
The college is producing a training video, which will be available online by June 24. I encourage you to take a moment to watch the video and share it with your students and colleagues.
I want to thank the many faculty, staff, and administrators who helped develop these strategies and protocols. It is hard work, and I appreciate your attention to detail. There are many decisions yet to be made, and we anticipate the COVID-19 pandemic to influence our actions in the months ahead. Updates will be posted to the Return to Campus website, and we will continue to keep you informed.
While many of us are excited to return to campus, I recognize that you may also feel anxious about our return. I want to remind you that there are many resources and support services available. I encourage you to visit our Coronavirus website for more information. We are committed to providing a quality education for students in a safe learning, teaching, and working environment. Thank you for being part of this amazing Riverbat community.