For the second straight year, Austin Community College District (ACC) is named one of America’s Top Online Colleges by Newsweek. The ranking is based on online degree programs, including hybrid programs with online and offline courses or exams. ACC placed among the top three community colleges in Texas.
“This is a testament to the work happening at ACC to empower students. Higher education continues to change. I am proud ACC remains on the forefront of innovation and this recognition proves that,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC chancellor. “Flexibility remains one of the top things we can provide our students to complete their degree.”
Currently, ACC’s Distance Education (DE) Program offers courses, certificate programs, and degree programs in four formats:
- Online – All instruction and services are provided online asynchronously and synchronously
- 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.
- Hyflex – Instruction offered both online and on-campus opportunities simultaneously, giving students the choice to attend any particular class either in-person or virtually.
In 2022, ACC increased the number of programs available fully online. There are now 40 degrees and certifications students can pursue entirely online. Work also is underway to expand online options. Crews are working to equip more classrooms with new technologies that will optimize the online learning environment. Funds to modernize classrooms for this purpose are included in the 2022 bond.
“Doing classes online gave me the flexibility to complete my English degree while balancing life at home. I have worked so hard to achieve my goals,” says Adriana Calixto, ACC English student. “I started at ACC during the peak of COVID-19. Ever since then, I have relied solely on ACC online courses due to being a full-time mom and working 40 hours a week. During the spring semester, I gave birth to my second child but was still able to complete all of my classes due to the amazing support from my ACC professors. I am so grateful that ACC is inclusive to young mothers as I could not have made it this far without their support.”
“Distance education allows students to take courses on their own time within the structure of the semester. Some students might not live near an ACC campus or struggle with transportation issues. Distance education is a way to close these gaps,” says Dr. Eduardo Garcia, ACC General Studies and Student Development professor. “The accessibility of distance education courses allows students to access education anywhere in the world. I have had the privilege of working with some veterans who have accessed ACC courses while serving our country overseas.”
The college continues to work toward improving its DE programs, and is building off lessons learned during COVID-19. Learn more about ACC’s online programs and distance education courses at austincc.edu/online.