Austin Community College District’s (ACC) Regional Advisory Committees (RAC) provided Trustees with their 2021 annual report of issues and recommendations for the college, including discussion of the college’s next General Obligation Bond strategy.
Overall, while many of the issues presented by the RACs at the board’s November 15 special meeting are already being addressed by the college, the groups presented some novel ideas for ACC to consider.
Districtwide, the RACs emphasized equity and recommended that the college prioritize facilities investments in underserved areas. The RACs highlighted the need for more human services and focused particularly on expanding child care offerings.
Regionally, the RACs identified the biggest needs as the redevelopment of the Pinnacle Campus; the buildout of the Southeast Travis County site; adding more workforce programs at Hays, San Gabriel, and Round Rock campuses; developing a health clinic at Eastview Campus; and better leveraging Northridge Campus’ location near the Domain. See more specific recommendations for each campus below.
The RACs are also interested in helping the board think through its General Obligation Bond strategy and said that the college has a high level of trust and positive perception with the community.
NORTH REGION RECOMMENDATIONS
Northridge Campus: Plan targeted renovations to modernize and enlarge classrooms, develop partnerships with IT companies in the Domain to create a business/IT incubator, and explore educational collaboration with Austin FC and Q2 stadium.
Cypress Creek Campus: Renovate and expand to keep up with the area’s growth and add workforce programs on-site.
San Gabriel Campus: Establish and create an on-campus Early College High School.
CENTRAL REGION RECOMMENDATIONS
Highland Campus: Develop a highly visible Welcome Center and connect it to the Make It Center, expand social service offerings to help students find employment and access services, and build a facility for large events, graduations, etc.
Eastview Campus: Expand Health Sciences offerings and build a student/community health center.
Elgin Campus: Include an additional workforce program in phase III buildout.
Rio Grande Campus: Investigate ways to maximize the location in the cultural and historic center of the city as a “front door to ACC.”
SOUTH REGION RECOMMENDATIONS
Pinnacle: Raze the existing tower and construct a new purpose-built campus offering general education, an ACCelerator, and a workforce program such as viticultural/enology given the campus’ proximity to the Texas wine country.
Hays Campus: Add an ACCelerator and Health Sciences, establish an Early College High School, and consider adding workforce programs such as supply chain management, medical coding, business management, real estate, IT/financial technology, and skilled construction trades programs.
Riverside Campus: Build out advanced manufacturing programs and other skilled trades and renovate campus to include an ACCelerator.
Southeast Travis County property: Build an Early College High School and consider programs such as transportation, welding, automotive technology, logistics, and supply chain management.
The RACs were formed in 2018 to help strengthen the link between ACC and the community and identify facilities, workforce and industry, and program needs based on community feedback. The three 11-member committees are made up of community members nominated by Trustees and the Chancellor and are sorted into regions — north, central, and south. They met twice during the year, and the RAC co-chairs also met with ACC Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes to discuss their annual findings. For more information on the RACs, visit austincc.edu/rac.