Austin Community College District (ACC) continues to make progress on the Chancellor’s 2021-22 Priorities. The ACC Board of Trustees received an update on Chancellor Priority No. 3: Provide an Exceptional Online Education at its March 7 regular meeting.

The priority aims to provide accessible and quality online education to everyone to promote equitable outcomes, expand professional development, and close the digital divide with increased support for online students. 

The pandemic highlighted the growing digital divide. With the support of a $2.5 million Hispanic Serving Institute Grant, the college took a three-pronged approach to close the gap. It included enriching high-risk courses, improving academic support, and providing intensive advising.

The college also increased the number of programs available fully online to 40 degrees and certifications with a 70 percent completion rate. ACC continues to increase completions on the number of staff and faculty with Quality Matters (QM) training to 956 with a goal of 1,050. The college also exceeded its goal to develop 10 courses that are QM-certified. Currently, there are 26 QM-certified courses. 

ACC is working toward adding more options to its online and distance learning courses. Currently, the college offers: 

  • Online – All instruction and services are provided online asynchronously
  • Distance Learning Campus – Instruction is offered online, but some services, like lab or testing, are offered on campus
  • Hybrid – Instruction and services are provided partly online and partly face-to-face.
  • Online Synchronous – Added during COVID-19 pandemic, offers Instruction fully online with required online meetings during the specified days and times listed

The college is now exploring Hy-Flex instruction options which offer both online and on-campus opportunities simultaneously, giving students the choice to attend any particular class either in-person or virtually.