ACC Board of Trustees February 3 Meeting Recap

The Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees met for its regular meeting on Monday, February 3, to learn about a new partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, hear updates on Developmental Math and spring enrollment, and approve a new Nursing degree. Below are highlights from the meeting.

New Careers Scholars Partnership Announced
ACC's Career Scholars program is getting a boost in funding through a new partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

Student Success Report on Developmental Math at ACC
Trustees heard an update on the revamping of its Developmental Math curriculum to align with its Guided Pathways work. The process is documented as part of a five-college video series by Pathways.

New Nursing Degree Approved
The Board approved a new Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Vocational Nursing as an affordable pathway for students who complete a Level II Vocational Nursing Certificate to continue on their path and work while they earn an associate degree.

Academic Master Plan 2020-2025 Update
Dr. Charles Cook, ACC provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs, presented an overview of the Academic Master Plan 2020-2025 process, which kicked off with a strategic planning meeting in January. The steering committee is currently inviting proposals from the college's Areas of Study for new programs, services, initiatives, facilities, or equipment that address the overarching theme of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, as well as any of the other strategic themes.

ACC to offer classes at Asian American Resource Center
ACC will begin offering Adult Education classes, such as English as a Second Language and potentially others, at the Asian American Resource Center after Trustees approved an agreement. The City of Austin, which manages the Center, will waive the facility use fee for ACC, who will offer the classes free of charge to participants.

2020 Federal Legislative Priorities: Social Security Fairness Act
Trustees voted to approve adding the Social Security Fairness Act to the college's list of 2020 federal legislative priorities. The bill, HR141, would have no fiscal impact on the college and would benefit some ACC employees by repealing provisions that lowered Social Security payments if a person or a person's spouse worked a non-Social Security public-sector position.

President's Remarks
Dr. Richard Rhodes started his remarks by introducing Michelle Fitzpatrick, who presented an update and a video on the faculty onboarding process that started this fall.

Dr. Rhodes also announced the following:

  • ACC is bucking the trend of declining enrollments across the nation with spring enrollment up 20 percent.
  • ACC Fashion Incubator Director Nina Means and Gigi Edwards Bryant, chair of the ACC Board of Trustees, were featured in Austin Woman Magazine to share what it means to be black in Austin.
  • Three students are semifinalists for the national Jack Kent Cooke Foundation's Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.
  • The Achieving the Dream's Dream2020 Conference is this month and Shasta Buchanan, ACC College & High School Relations associate vice president, will be presenting as part of a panel on "Aiming for Equity: Early College & Dual Enrollment."
  • The college will use insights on how to build a culture of care from a meeting with Dr. Sarah Goldrick-Rab to help expand student success efforts. 
  • The ACCelerator will be hosting scholarship stations to help increase the number of students applying for financial aid by providing them with guided support.
  • The college's Office of Communications and Marketing won five Paragon Awards — the most wins in Texas and the second most nationwide — from the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations.
  • Health Sciences will be hosting an open house on February 22.
  • ACC is hosting a series of events to honor Black History Month at campuses districtwide, with a kick-off and cultural heritage festival happening February 6.

Board meeting minutes and recordings can be found at