Community voters name Austin Community College District’s (ACC) online program as the best in Central Texas. The Austin Chronicle’s Best of Austin award goes to ACC’s Online Adult Education program.
“Adults that are considering returning to school while balancing full-time work and family obligations are probably wondering how they’ll find time for classroom lectures, studying, and projects,” says Dr. Erasmus Addae, associate vice president of Distance Education. “For adult learners, in particular, flexible scheduling is one of the top benefits of online learning. ACC provides access to online learning opportunities that gives adults the freedom to schedule classes around their lives, rather than their lives around their classes.”
Even before COVID-19, there had been high growth and adoption in online learning at ACC. The majority of the college’s online faculty had already trained in online learning pedagogies and design.
When the pandemic hit, faculty who were previously teaching traditional on-campus courses prepared to move online quickly. The transition to online learning was marked by faculty professional development, especially in LMS and web-conferencing technologies use, and expansion of technology systems to accommodate the increase in the number of users.
The college also set up a faculty peer support and mentoring program to support the transition to online learning and the Teaching and Learning Excellence Division (TLED) established a collaborative space for faculty to exchange ideas and support each other.
In addition to supporting faculty in the transition, ACC expanded its online learning options for students to include scheduled and flexible online classes.
ACC’s online programs have recently been ranked as top in the state and nation. OnlineU.com recognized the college among the top 20 colleges in the nation — and the only college in Texas — in the 2021 Best Online Associate Degree list.
The college also was ranked among the top in Texas according to TexasOnlineColleges.com’s 2021 Best Online Community Colleges in Texas report for its distance education programs.
See the full Best of Austin list here.