Austin Community College District (ACC) partners with Austin Independent School District (AISD), Austin Hotel Lodging Association, and Visit Austin for a new innovative program at Travis Early College High School (ECHS). Enrollment is now open for the hospitality management program.
“ACC believes college is for everyone. Our Early College High School and Pathways in Early College High School programs give students, particularly those underrepresented in higher education, an accelerated path to college and workforce training,” says Mison Zuniga, ACC interim vice president of College and High School Relations. “It gives students an opportunity to earn their associate degree by the time they graduate high school. Last year, more than 88 percent of ACC ECHS graduates went on to transition to a four-year university after high school.”
The program allows students to graduate with a high school diploma while earning an associate degree at no cost. Taught by ACC professors, students will gain real-world experience in hospitality and tourism management through internships and mentoring.
“This is taking a program with a 20-year history of excellence, and we are adding in the postsecondary bridge for students to earn an associate degree,” said Jayma Vaughan, program director. “I cannot think of a collaboration better suited for the innovative, service-minded, and diverse students of Austin ISD.”
“The future of our industry is bright and that couldn’t be more true than right here in Austin, Texas,” says Joe Bolash, Austin Hotel and Lodging Association member. “The Austin Hotel and Lodging Association and our member hotels are proud to serve as an industry partner as we look to transition students from the classroom to the workplace and launch the next generation into their hospitality careers.”
Forty-five students will be part of the first cohort. Classes are expected to begin August 2021.
This is the fifteenth ECHS program to launch at ACC. The college also has ECHS partnerships with Round Rock ISD, Elgin ISD, Del Valle ISD, Bastrop ISD, and Manor ISD.
In 2019-20, ACC enrolled 2,384 students in its ECHS programs — up more than 26 percent from the previous fall semester. The programs have proved successful in closing equity gaps. According to data, enrollment of Hispanic students increased 32 percent and Black students 33 percent in fall 2019.
For more information on ACC’s ECHS programs, visit austincc.edu/echs.