Austin Community College is launching a new text messaging service to notify you in case of a college emergency. The “SchoolMessenger” system allows ACC to keep you informed of critical information. The safety of students and employees is the college’s priority, so you are encouraged to sign up. You will receive texts only in the event of an emergency.
First, the college asks all students, faculty, and staff to update their emergency contact information (step-by-step instructions below). Please include a cell phone number. After that information is updated, you will receive a text message from SchoolMessenger asking you to opt into Austin Community College Alerts. (Your wireless carrier requires you to opt into the service in order to prevent unsolicited text messages.)
Simply reply to the message with the letter “Y” (for yes). Many of you already have received this message. If not, you may opt-in at any time by texting 68453 with the word OPTIN. To receive ACC emergency text notification, you must opt-in.
If you have questions, please see the following FAQs or contact the ACC helpdesk (austincc.edu/helpdesk) at 223-HELP (4357).
Emergency Contact FAQs
How do I update my emergency contact information?
1. Go to austincc.edu.
2. Under the eServices heading on the right side of the page, click “Online Services.”
3. Using your ACCeID, log into the appropriate area (Current Students, Faculty, Employees, or Continuing Education).
4. Follow the pertinent instructions to update your emergency contact information:
- If you are a current student or Continuing Education: under “Academic Profile,” click “Student Data Change Requests.” Select the first option, “Designate emergency contact information” and click “Submit.” Enter a phone number and a text message number in the spaces provided.
- If you are faculty or staff: under “Personal Profile”/“Employee Profile,” click “Change Employee Information.” Scroll down to the section that says “In case of college emergency only, I want to be contacted at.” Enter a phone number and a text message number in the spaces provided.
- NOTE: this action does not change your official phone number(s) on file with the college; it is strictly for use as contact information in case of a college emergency.
5. You will receive an opt-in message at the number you provide.
When is ACC emergency text messaging used?
Only in case of college emergency.
What is SchoolMessenger?
The service provider for ACC’s new emergency text messaging service.
How do I opt-in?
- Respond to opt-in invitation – You will receive a text message on the number provided, similar to this message: “Austin Community College alerts. Reply Y for aprx 5 msgs/mo. Txt HELP 4 info. Msg & data rates may apply. Visit schoolmessenger.com/tm.” So that you can continue to receive emergency notifications from ACC, we encourage you to reply with the letter “Y” (for yes). Once you reply to the text, you will receive verification that you are registered to receive text messages from SchoolMessenger.
- Opt-in at any time – You can also opt in at any time by texting 68453 with the word OPTIN.
How do I opt-out?
You can opt-out at any time by texting 68453 with the word STOP. If you opt-out, you will not receive ACC emergency text notifications.
Do text rates apply?
Depending on your cell phone plan, text rates may apply.
Why emergency text messaging?
Cell phones are widely-used among students and employees. Following the tragedy at Virginia Tech, colleges and universities across the nation reassessed their emergency notification procedures. After an extensive evaluation, ACC chose to join a growing number of institutions in adding text messaging to the list of emergency communications tools.
What other emergency communications tools is ACC using?
No one tool does it all. ACC also uses the following:
- Emergency Message Boards and Speakers– All campuses and classrooms are equipped with emergency message boards that can tell you where to go and what to do in case of emergency. Speakers are located in the hallways and exterior of the building.
- College-wide email – Students will receive notification via ACCmail. Faculty and Staff will receive notifications through their ACC email account.
- Homepage – Important alerts, closures and cancellations, and updates are posted online at austincc.edu.
- Media – The college works with local media outlets to keep the community informed.