New Master Plan Sets Forth a Vision for Academic Priorities

ACC recently unveiled its new Academic Master Plan, a far-reaching and adaptable list of programs and initiatives for ensuring the college fulfills its mission of student success while remaining aligned with community needs.

Concept illustration of a learning lab at ACC Highland.

"Our Strategic Plan addresses our responsibility to our students and the community, and the Academic Master Plan gives us a roadmap to get there,” says ACC President/CEO Dr. Richard Rhodes. "To quote our provost — this is not a wish list. This is a to-do list."

The Academic Master Plan (AMP) encompasses instruction, academic support, and student services, and is based on Student Success Initiative goals, current Presidential Priorities (pdf), and the college’s Strategic Plan (formerly the ACC Master Plan).

From these sources, along with local economic and labor trend data and ACC's own student performance data, four focus areas emerged. Individual college units have recommended more than 40 initiatives or activities — some already in progress — that support those four focus areas. A few initiatives within each focus area are listed below. For the entire list of initiatives, view the Academic Master Plan (pdf).

Increase Student Success

In order to increase student success, institutional improvements must be made to processes pertaining to student entry, progress, and completion.

  • Significantly improve Developmental Education.
  • Develop an institutional strategy for Distance Learning.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive faculty-led faculty development program.
  • Develop a strategic recruitment and enrollment management plan.
  • Launch a mandatory seminar class for all first-time-in-college students.
  • Expand Supplemental Instruction to 20 percent of high-enrollment, high-attrition courses.
  • Provide students with real-time feedback on degree progress and data-informed assistance on class selection through Degree Map application.
  • Expand and enhance entry, progress, and completion initiatives for high school students, veterans, students with disabilities, and deaf students.

Meet Business/Industry Workforce Needs

ACC must increase and further develop partnerships with business and organizations to create a world-class workforce and expand economic growth.

More than 40 programs and initiatives will help ensure ACC fulfills its responsibility to students and the community.

  • Create a digital/creative media cluster.
  • Explore feasibility of Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
  • Create a regional first responder training center.
  • Create a culinary/hospitality center.
  • Create project-based professional incubators to enhance student learning opportunities.
  • Fully implement/expand the Sustainable Agricultural Entrepreneurship Program.
  • Implement a workforce research and development center.
  • Develop an institutional internship program.

Achieve Operational Excellence

ACC must continuously assess and apply new principles, systems, and tools to support the sustainable improvement of college operations.

  • Systematically review staffing patterns to determine the appropriate levels of faculty and support personnel to support student success.
  • Align and balance program offerings at campuses; monitor enrollment patterns to balance student need with fiscal responsibility.
  • Create an Academic Planning, Development & Evaluation (APDE) unit to support the AMP development and SACS compliance.
  • Establish a senior institute to meet the needs of older adults in the community.
  • Improve testing centers.
  • Manage student loan default and promote financial literacy to decrease loan default rates.

Increase Community Outreach & Communication

ACC must increase relationships with community organizations to identify mutual objectives and leverage existing resources.

  • Develop institutional collaborations to promote ease of transfer.
  • Leverage partnerships to identify new sites for service learning, instruction, and internships.
  • Utilize local partnerships to expand childcare services.
  • Create a diversity, inclusion, and multicultural affairs office to interface with the community.

Administrative departments (such as HR, Marketing, and IT) are creating plans to support the AMP. Together the plans will drive decisions about budget, personnel, and facilities beginning in 2014, and will be updated annually according to student and community needs.

"Developing plans that are data-informed, aligned, and adaptable is an essential part of the AMP," says Marcus Jackson, director of academic planning and evaluation. "Communication and collaboration are the keys to success, and departments across the college will continually work in concert to implement a comprehensive plan that fulfills ACC’s mission."

In addition to viewing individual unit plans, faculty and staff can keep up to date on the AMP by visiting the Academic Master Plan webpage. For information, contact Jackson at mjackso4@austincc.edu.

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