The Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees met for its regular meeting on Monday, April 10. Trustees made a historic vote to maintain tuition rates and fees for 2023-24. The unanimous decision marks 10 years in a row to hold the cost of college steady at ACC. Other highlights include updates on the 2022 general obligation (GO) bond, the college’s newest bachelor’s degree, and the next fiscal year’s budget.
AY 2023-24 Tuition and Fees
The vote to keep tuition and fees unchanged for the year ahead demonstrates the Board’s commitment to keeping college affordable and accessible. In-district students at ACC will continue to pay $67 for tuition — with fees, it comes to $85 per credit hour. In recent years, Trustees also have voted to lower rates for out-of-district and out-of-state students to help make college more affordable for everyone.
Priority 2: Enrollment
Dr. Monique Umphrey, ACC Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, and Dr. Gaye Lynn Scott, ACC Vice Chancellor of Instruction, shared an update on the progress for Chancellor’s Priority #2: Enrollment. First, the Board heard about upgrades to Ad Astra. The scheduling tool allows stakeholders access to resources and systems to identify student needs and demands better. The goal is to develop a more student-centric schedule that allows for year-long schedules, so students can plan their courses over several semesters.
Trustees also learned the next steps to launch the college’s fourth bachelor’s degree program. The Cybersecurity program will launch in fall 2023 with a 60-student cohort. It will offer in-person, hybrid, and online options for students.
Priority 3: Learning & Retention
Next, Drs. Umphrey and Scott provided progress reports for Chancellor’s Priority #3: Learning and Retention. Trustees heard about plans to use the Northridge Campus as an innovative eight-week campus. They presented data that show eight-week classes can lead to increased persistence, retention, and completion rates. The college expects to launch a pilot program in Business Administration this fall and aims to expand 8-week programs to more degree tracks by fall 2024.
Trustees also received an update on the growth of HyFlex courses. HyFlex instruction is offered on campus and includes flexible options to allow students an opportunity to join class virtually on any given class day. Currently, the college has converted 13 classrooms to HyFlex capabilities, with a goal to hit 40 by summer semester. Additionally, 75 faculty have been trained, with a goal to hit 100 training faculty members by summer semester.
Finally, the Board heard an update on the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The QEP is focused on Digital Fluency and is an integral component of the reaffirmation of the accreditation process. The college is currently on track to develop curriculum, pilot micro-credential programs, and increase outreach.
Approve Additional Members to Chancellor Search Advisory Committee
Trustees approved a change to the 36-person advisory committee for the college’s chancellor search process. The committee will assist the board in appointing a new chancellor. Trustees approved adding Dr. Shasta Buchannan, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, to the committee. Dr. Buchanan will serve as the second administrator on the committee. Learn more about ACC’s chancellor search process here, and view the Chancellor Search Advisory Committee list here.
Dental Hygiene Program Expansion
ACC Board of Trustees received an update on plans to expand the Dental Hygiene program. Currently, the program accepts 18 students. New funding from Capital IDEA will allow the college to expand the program to 26 students. The college continues to look at options to expand the program with offerings in the south and north regions as well.
2022 GO Bond Program Project
ACC is taking its first steps toward rolling out the 2022 GO bond program. The Board of Trustees authorized the ACC administration to negotiate contracts for the Round Rock Campus Applied Technology expansion with PBK Architects as the architecture firm for this project. The project will include expanded and new facilities for building construction, automotive technology, welding technology, and advanced manufacturing. The college also plans to expand facilities for Health Sciences programs on campus at a later date.