The Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees held its regular February meeting on Monday, February 1, in a virtual format due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Below are highlights from the meeting.
Federal Legislative Priorities
Trustees unanimously adopted the federal legislative priorities of the Association of Community College Trustees and the American Association of Community Colleges. Learn more here.
Fast Track Program
The board received an update on the Fast Track Program, which launched last year in response to growing unemployment rates as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.
ACC received a $50,000 check from University Federal Credit Union for the Adult Education Career Scholars Program. Trustees also heard presentations from community partners Educate Texas and the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Watch the check presentation here and presentations from community partners here.
Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes informed trustees that the college was selected to receive new federal funds from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, which allows ACC to earmark $16 million for student emergency aid. More than 2,800 students applied in the first two days. ACC has seen strong data on the impact of federal aid — there was a 10 percent bump in persistence toward graduation for students who received federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) assistance last year.
The college also received a $5 million grant to support the Army Futures Command Software Factory, which will be located at ACC's Rio Grande Campus.
Additionally, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board awarded ACC with a $300,000 Reskilling Support Fund Grant to provide scholarships to students who stopped out of school due to the pandemic.
Spring enrollments continue to increase with more than 37,000 students enrolled as of the end of January. Overall, contact hours are down, but the college has seen increased enrollments in Health Sciences, Computer Science, IT, and Business courses. ACC continues to offer short semester courses to give students more flexibility, and contact hours are up in those classes.
After listening to students' needs, ACC has reopened the ACCelerator at ACC Highland by reservation. The college will remain on standby to expand these resources as the situation allows.
ACC's equity work continues, with the college selected for a new Equity Transfer Initiative. Learn more here.
Other recognitions for the college and its employees include: