ACC’s experiential learning opportunities provide students with experiences beyond the classroom that positively impact career readiness. Reports from the fall 2023 and spring 2024 semesters are now available and show the growth in these programs. 

The college’s Office of Experiential Learning (OEL), housed under the Teaching & Learning Excellence Division (TLED), works with academic departments to develop and maintain cooperative education programs. The OEL works with employers and nonprofit organizations to arrange external learning internships, clinicals, apprenticeships, and service learning.

In spring, 2,780 students enrolled in experiential learning opportunities, up from 2,466 students enrolled in experiential learning opportunities.

OEL reports that there are a total of 66 departments throughout the college with at least one form of external learning program available to their students in the 2023-24 academic year. This represents over 81% of all departments in the college.  

Below is an overview of some of the experiential learning programs offered and the data from the reports for these areas.

Service Learning

Service Learning is an instructional method in which an entire class is assigned to a nonprofit or government agency to work on a project for the semester. The projects are graded assignments that have an element of self-reflection. Career readiness and community engagement are the twin foci of the service learning program. 

Faculty must undergo a three-day training program to be certified to teach a service learning section. Currently, more than 100 faculty members have taken the course.

This spring, 750 students from 15 departments and 37 sections took part in service learning. In the fall, 728 students from 13 departments and 43 sections participated. 

Service Learning has seen tremendous growth over the previous year. In spring 2023, the number of students in service learning programs was 631, and in fall 2022, the number was only 230. Preliminary numbers show more than 1,000 students registered in service learning sections for fall 2024.


Internships include all courses with instructional methods INT (internship). PRA (practicum), and COO (coop), excluding Health Sciences practicums, which are included under clinicals. These courses generally serve as capstones in their respective degree plans and have restricted enrollment contingent on department chair approval. 

Internships can be either paid or unpaid and employers range from our own Bioscience Incubator and college partners, such as Austin PBS, to a variety of small and large Central Texas employers. The college currently has a list of about 1,400 employers, which has grown from about 1,300 in the fall, and ACC works to get as many of the internships paid as possible.

In the spring, 393 students from 33 departments and 55 sections enrolled in internships, up from 320 students from 30 departments and 49 sections in the fall.


Clinicals include all courses with instructional method CLI and Health Sciences sections with instructional method PRA. Clinical are a requirement for several programs at ACC and they cannot be paid. 

In the spring, 1,534 students from 11 departments and 64 sections participated in clinicals. Those numbers were 1,310 students, 11 departments, and 50 sections in the fall.


Apprenticeships are an agreement between the college and an employer in which the college provides their employees with technical instruction and the employer provides on-the-job training. Their employees are typically our students hired by the employer and the apprenticeship ends with a nationally recognized credential. ACC requires that the employer provide the employee with a pay increase once the apprenticeship has been completed.

Apprenticeship programs were recently moved under the OEL after Gretchen Riehl retired as the associate vice chancellor of Workforce Education. Currently, ACC has about six active apprenticeship programs and the OEL plans to grow that number. 

In the spring, 103 students participated in an apprenticeship program, and 108 students participated in the fall.

To learn more about ACC’s experiential learning programs, visit the Office of Experiential Learning’s website.