Disruptions caused by the pandemic remain an obstacle for students across the nation. At Austin Community College District (ACC), students who want to complete their degree are now eligible for new support. The college was awarded a new Department of Education (ED) grant to help students who stopped out after 2020 return to the college to complete their degree.

“It’s clear the pandemic was a catalyst for challenge. The changes knocked many people off-course. We know that when we can provide students with wraparound support, they can get back on track. It takes doing things differently and thinking beyond the classroom to explore how we can help students in life in general,” says ACC Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes. “These funds will help us reach out to these students and get them across the finish line. We remain committed to meeting students where they are and finding what they need.”

The two-year grant –– Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) –– supports higher education opportunities and outcomes for students from underrepresented communities. ACC will receive more than $770,000 to launch Austin Community College Ensuring Student Success (ACCESS) project. ACCESS will provide outreach and reenrollment coaching delivered by InsideTrack. The nonprofit aims to improve enrollment, persistence, completion, and career readiness. 

“The main intent of the grant is to reach out to stop-outs and help them finish what they started and earn their credential,” says Dr. Guillermo Martinez, ACC associate vice chancellor of Student Engagement and Academic Success. “We will provide direct assistance with reenrolling students and ensuring they are provided the many ACC student supports available to them.”

ACCESS will support 1,000 students who stopped out after 2020. ACC will provide comprehensive financial, personal, social, family, and technological support, including:

  • Child Care,
  • Transportation,
  • Textbooks,
  • Tutoring,
  • Digital Devices,
  • Personal Counseling.

ACC also will identify the best practices in preventing and working with stop-outs to engage and reengage as often as necessary. 

1-on-1 help is available for students who need support applying and registering. For more information, visit austincc.edu/applynow.