Frequently Asked Questions

Class Schedules | Scholarships Expectations For Students |Communications | Jobs

General Building Construction Class Information

(for general ACC student help, visit this page)

Will I get much hands on experience?
Absolutely! Many classes (such as Construction Materials and Methods, Conventional Wall SystemsConcrete IWoodworking classes, Conventional Interior Finish SystemsConventional Exterior Finish SystemsCabinet Making I and II and others) have enough lab and classroom time to gain the knowledge and skill to succeed in the workplace. See photos of a completed instructional unit built by Construction students.

Do you have adequate lab space for students? 
Yes! Our woodworking class limit is 10. All other courses are limited to 12 students for reasons of safety and personal attention. For a course to “make” (not be canceled) at least 70% of the seats in the class must be filled.

Is there a student association?
Yes! All students are encouraged to join.
Visit the Student Association website, www.bctstudentassociation.org and public Facebook group (requires a Facebook account).

How do I find out if enough students registered for my class to “make” and not be canceled?
Check the canceled classes section of the schedule after registration ends.

What if I register then need to drop or withdraw, including after class has started?
To drop or withdraw, you must complete certain steps. If you simply don’t attend classes without completing the required steps,  you will receive an F for the course.

Do students have to work above the ground at all? Is it safe?
In the Conventional Wall Systems class, students are on ladders while loading trusses for the roof. And in the Conventional Exterior Finish class students install a complete roof onto the recently-framed building. Under an instructor’s supervision, they set up scaffolding and wear fall protection harnesses when working above ground. Safety for students (and instructors) is always the top priority.

Why is it important to attend the first class?
It is VERY important to attend the first class. Many of the classes have waiting lists; if you miss the first class and have not contacted the instructor, you will be dropped and your place given to a student on the wait list (find the instructor through the schedule contact the instructor). Also, many instructors discuss how to perform the necessary math calculations during the first class (how to convert between fractions and decimals, how to calculate cubic yards, square feet, the pitch of a roof and many other calculations related to the subject).

Do the instructors have experience in the construction/woodworking industries?
Yes! All of the instructors have worked in the construction and/or woodworking industries for years in a variety of roles. From their own experiences, they can help students learn how to avoid mistakes and also learn safe and acceptable ways to work productively.

Who should I talk to if I have questions about the classes or degree program?
For information about registering or tuition refer to the Register for College Classes page. For questions about obtaining a degree, including non-construction course requirements, or what course to take next, contact one of the Building Construction Technology faculty.

Should the classes be taken in a certain order?
For students with no construction experience, some classes require completion of another course. The degree plans have a recommended sequence of classes, beginning with hands-on lab classes. If you have questions about this, contact one of the faculty.

Which campuses have Building Construction Technology classes?
Riverside Campus and Round Rock Campus; see the course schedule for locations and times.

I have construction experience and need a degree or certificate. Do I need to take all of the classes?
All degree-seeking students must have 60 college credit hours to graduate (that is a requirement of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board). Students coming to Building Construction Technology with college credit and experience may get waivers. Another option for students with work experience to get credit for a class is by challenging a course. For details, talk to Department Chair Joey Case.

Does ACC communicate with students via email? Are students given ACC email accounts?
Yes! When a student first registers for a class, an “ACCMail” account is automatically set up. All college communications, such as campus closings due to bad weather and special announcements, are sent to these accounts. These ACCMail accounts are gMail accounts and include Google Drive, with the Google word processor, spreadsheet, presentations and more. Besides receiving email from ACC, the Google Drive apps are a great place to write and store homework papers (and even share them with the professor, if appropriate).

Important: before a student can access his or her ACCMail account, the account must be activated.

A number of classes get hands-on construction experience by building a one bedroom unit. What happens to these when they are completed?
These “instructional units”, which are built to Austin code standards but are NOT inspected by a City building inspector, are sold at an online auction. The buyer must transport them from campus (ACC faculty can suggest a mover if needed) and they must be placed on land outside the Austin city limits. For details, contact instructor Donald Thurman, (512) 223-0345, dthurman@austincc.edu.

I’m a senior citizen (age 65 or above); do I do anything different to register and get a discount?
People who are at least 65 years of age can take up to 6 hours per semester for free if there is room in the class; the free Senior Citizen registration begins after the regular registration has closed. To guarantee a spot in the class, senior citizens need to register and pay for the class as a regular student. Details on how to apply as a senior citizen and register. Registration dates for senior citizens and other students

Scholarships

Are any scholarships available?

A number of scholarships are open to all ACC students. Strictly for Building Construction students is the Royce & Donna Faulkner endowed scholarship  (search for Faulkner in the full scholarship list). More scholarship information for Building Construction Technology students is available on our scholarships page. For details on applying, visit the General Scholarship Application Instructions page

School/Instructor / Student Communication

How can I contact an instructor?
Contact the instructor by phone or email; see the Faculty and Staff page for their contact information.

How do ACC and the instructors contact me, including regarding emergency campus closings and other general updates?
ACC communicates general college information, updates and emergency closures to students via accmail. All students receive this free email account (powered by Google) and you can use it even after you graduate from ACC. ACCmail has many features available, including the ability to forward to your primary email account if you wish so you do not have to check multiple email accounts. See the accmail page for details, including how to sign up. All ACC instructors and staff are required to use ACCmail to communicate with you.

Class Schedules

The course I need to take next semester isn’t offered at all, or isn’t offered at a convenient time. Will that change?

Some courses are only offered once a year.  When a  class is only offered once during a semester, that class will be offered during the day in one semester and during the evening in the next semester. If a class you need is not scheduled at a convenient time, look at the schedule for all 3 semesters. Plan ahead!

How do I find out if enough students registered for my class to “make” and not be canceled?

Check the canceled classes section of the schedule after registration ends.

Expectations and Requirements For Students

What type of math skills do students need and why?

Students are expected to have basic math skills (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division). All classes include exercises in calculations common to the construction industry. A few examples include:

  • adding lengths that are in feet and inches (4′ 8 3/4″ plus 6′ 7 5/16″) for framing materials
  • determining if a room is square (A squared + B squared = C squared)
  • calculating the linear feet of a house perimeter, square feet in a room
  • calculating cubic yards to determine the amount of concrete
  • calculating the pitch of a roof to calculate roofing materials, siding, wall studs and many other items

What tools are students expected to provide?

All classes require a calculator that has the basic math functions and square root calculation, pen or pencil and paper. Some classes require textbooks.

Lab classes (those with hands-on experience in the subject) include the following at a minimum. Some classes require additional equipment. Example photos

  • Closed-toe shoes such as tennis shoes or boots. NO SANDALS
  • Eye protection
  • Hammer (straight claw preferred for pulling nails; curved claw is acceptable)
  • Speed Square
  • Pencil (#2 or carpenter’s pencil)
  • Tool belt or bag for equipment

I’m ready to graduate; what do I need to do?

Review the requirements and complete the graduation form by the deadline for that semester.  Questions and answers about graduation

What do students say about ACC’s Building Construction Technology program?

Some students attend to learn construction and/or woodworking skills for personal interest reasons rather than to pursue a career in the construction field. Their general reaction is “great classes and instructors! Love all the hands-on experience and learned a lot from it!”

Some of our construction career-oriented students have either visited or attended other schools, including universities, with construction programs. One student who attended a university and transferred to ACC summarized the general reaction: “At the university I learned a lot of building construction theory and had some hands-on practice in their labs. Here at ACC I am getting much more hands on experience and because of that I’m learning much more about all areas of construction. I believe that I will have stronger skills and be able to get a better job in the construction field once I graduate from ACC.”

Employment and Jobs

What is the marketability of students who complete your program? What types of jobs & salary are available for students?

  • Student marketability is very high
  • Excellent placement opportunities with local builders
  • Department of Labor statistics seasonally adjusted Construction industry average weekly wage for January 2017 is $1109.43.

I’m an employer and have jobs for construction students. How do I advertise them?

Complete the Post A Job form. An instructor will review it to verity it is appropriate for students and will post it on our jobs page and on the department’s bulletin board.

I’m an employer and have jobs for construction students. How do I advertise them?

Complete the Available job form. An instructor will review it to verity it is appropriate for students and will post it on our jobs page and on the department’s bulletin board.

What do students say about ACC’s Building Construction Technology program?

Some students attend to learn construction and/or woodworking skills for personal interest reasons rather than to pursue a career in the construction field. Their general reaction is “great classes and instructors! Love all the hands-on experience and learned a lot from it!”

Some of our construction career-oriented students have either visited or attended other schools, including universities, with construction programs. One student who attended a university and transferred to ACC summarized the general reaction: “At the university I learned a lot of building construction theory and had some hands-on practice in their labs. Here at ACC I am getting much more hands on experience and because of that I’m learning much more about all areas of construction. I believe that I will have stronger skills and be able to get a better job in the construction field once I graduate from ACC.”

 

 

 

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