PACE program to receive national award

Co-enrollment program recognized for its academic advising success

ACC’s Path to Admission through Co-Enrollment (PACE) program with UT-Austin will be awarded a 2017 Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Award from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) at NACADA’s annual conference October 11 in St. Louis, MO. Recognized for its academic advising service, the PACE program allows students to simultaneously enroll at ACC and UT-Austin.

“This award is presented to individuals and groups who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students,” according to NACADA, a 13,000 member organization which promotes and supports quality academic advising in institutions of higher education to enhance the educational development of students.

As part of the co-enrollment program, PACE students receive one-on-one support and academic advising from ACC and UT-Austin staff. Granted full-time student status at both institutions, students are integrated into life on both campuses through program-specific academic and student-life support services. Students have access to dedicated teams of advisors at both places whose job it is to ensure their success.

According to Jorge Lynch, PACE professor and counselor, coordinating advising efforts at two separate institutions can be challenging.

“Over the past several years, we’ve developed several ways to ensure that the students are getting consistent information about program expectations and requirements,” says Lynch.

Efforts include a three-day orientation in which the teams from both institutions work side-by-side to prepare students for the program and having to navigate two institutions. Students also receive an electronic advising plan, accessible to students and advisors at both institutions, to track and coordinate course selections, previously earned dual credit, eligibility for credit by exam, as well as progress in completing program, core curriculum, and degree requirements.

“This program exemplifies how two sectors of higher education can work together to create better pathways for students,” says Dr. Voncille Wright, dean of students at Rio Grande Campus. “The program fosters a collaborative relationship between the two institutions and helps students achieve an undergraduate education in a supportive and dynamic environment.”

Since the program’s inception in fall of 2013, more than 500 students have participated. Eighty-two percent ​successfully completed program requirements to transition to full-time status at UT-Austin. Additionally, more than half of the students from the program’s first cohort have earned an associate degree from ACC.

For more information about PACE, visit the program page or contact Lynch at 512-221-3130 or email jlynch@austincc.edu.

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