The Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees met in person for the first time since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic started for its July 2021 regular meeting on Tuesday, July 6. 

Below are highlights from the meeting.

FY2022 Budget Approved

Trustees approved a balanced $443 million budget for fiscal year 2022. The budget includes a 4 percent raise for all college employees and compensation adjustments for hundreds of employees based on market study results. Learn more here

Tuition Discount for Ability to Benefit Students

The board voted in favor of a 50-percent reduction in tuition and fees for certain ACC Adult Education students. The discount applies to the first two college-level courses taken by students who have not graduated from high school or completed a high school equivalency exam and meet certain other requirements. Once students pass the first two college-level courses with a grade of C or above, this documentation of their “ability to benefit” from college-level instruction entitles them to apply for federal financial aid. The cost to the college of $34,000 for the year is included in the FY22 budget.

Chancellor’s Report

Chancellor Richard Rhodes informed trustees that HB 3348, a bill that allows community colleges to offer up to five bachelor’s degrees, has been signed by the governor. The new law allows ACC to offer two more bachelor’s degrees. Learn more here.

Dr. Rhodes also shared the following news:

  • Dr. Gretchen Riehl, ACC’s associate vice president of Workforce Education, has been named to the Workforce Education Course Manual Advisory Committee at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
  • More than 700 candidates signed up to learn more about the Tesla START Manufacturing at ACC program. The announcement generated a lot of interest in ACC’s Manufacturing programs, therefore the college is hosting a Manufacturing Careers Expo July 8 and 10 at ACC Highland.
  • ACC has signed a co-enrollment agreement with Texas Woman’s University for their bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene.
  • ACC’s co-enrollment program with the Texas A&M Engineering Academy is seeing great momentum. For fall 2021, we have 375 prequalification requests, 221 math qualified, and 127 submitted applications to A&M.
  • As of Tuesday, June 6, ACC is seeing typical enrollments for the second summer session, with summer contact hours up one percent over 2019 and headcount is about 23,500. Enrollment Management, Recruitment, Marketing, and Instruction teams are doubling down efforts to help students start or continue their academic journey at ACC
  • Since September 2020, ACC along with our community partners, has distributed approximately $1 million pounds of food to 14,556 individuals who are food insecure.
  • ACC student Cole Doss took first place in the national League for Innovation literary competition. Read his story and more great work at  
  • ACC’s employee climate check-in survey was in May. Results show we are making good progress, especially in communication. For example, employee satisfaction increased 20 percentage points related to communicating college decisions in an accurate and timely manner. Additional information about the survey and our ongoing work to build on the 3Cs will be shared in the next few weeks.
  • Dr. Shasta Buchanan, ACC’s vice president of Student Affairs, and her family were featured in the July issue of Life in Steiner Ranch magazine.