Austin Community College District (ACC) welcomed students, faculty, and staff for the 2022 spring semester on Tuesday, January 18.
The first week of spring classes included the start of 4,049 sections, not including Dual Credit taught in area high schools. Of those sections, approximately half, 2,340, were designated as in-person courses.
Due to the recent surge of COVID-19 in Central Texas, the college issued temporary changes to scale back the number of individuals on all campuses and increase safety protocols. The college moved about 25 percent of its in-person classes to virtual environments for the first two weeks of the semester, affecting approximately 8,700 students. Courses that require hands-on learning, such as labs and simulations, remained scheduled for on-campus learning. Virtual options for Dual Credit and Early College High School are limited, so these courses largely remained in-person as well, whether offered on our campuses or in area high schools. All classes are expected to return to in-person learning as originally scheduled beginning Monday, January 31. (See Dr. Rhodes’ update here.)
Student Support offices, services, and resources continue to be available to all students both virtually and in person. This includes free tutoring, academic coaching, and access to libraries, computer centers, and labs such as ACC’s ACCelerators.
During the first two weeks of the semester, the college also implemented new health and safety measures for those who visit campus. These protocols required anyone on campus to fill out ACC’s health screening app and go through a health screening at designated campus entrances.
ACC Riverside Campus Manager Gloria Dove-Owens (right) checks the health screening app of Dr. Laura Marmolejo on Friday, January 21, 2022.
Entry screenings went smoothly. Faculty and staff volunteered to help sustain screening stations, including administrators such as ACC Finance & Administration Executive Vice Chancellor Neil Vickers at the Service Center, new ACC Provost Dr. Monique Umphrey at Highland Business Center, and others. Health screenings through the app will continue, but entry checks will end on Sunday, January 30.
Social distancing measures also remain in place, and the ACC Board of Trustees-mandated face mask requirement continues for anyone on campus over the age of two.
The college’s COVID-19 return to campus procedures and protocols follow guidance from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Texas Department of Health Services, and local health departments. The health and safety procedures and protocols use COVID-19 prevention practices established by federal, state, and local health authorities, to guide ACC’s safe return to campus. To date, ACC’s efforts have resulted in zero reported cases of COVID-19 transmissions on campus.
Updates to the college’s guidelines will be shared with employees and students and posted to the college’s COVID-19 informational website.