This week we welcomed some students and a few more employees back to our campuses for the first time since closing on March 13 due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). I’m happy to report it went extremely well. While our return to campus is small in its scope and most of us continue to learn, teach, and work remotely, we are grateful for the opportunity to provide more options for students.
Our position remains — if it can be done remotely, it will be. The majority of our classes and work will remain in a virtual environment through summer and fall. At the same time, our community is facing record unemployment, and it is ACC’s mission to prepare the workforce of the future and help residents return to work.
I want to thank those of you who did return to campus this week for your diligence and understanding. A lot has changed over the past few months to help ACC establish the environment we need to allow for a gradual return to campus. There are new health and safety protocols, smaller class sizes, and daily health screenings. I appreciate all you’re doing to follow these measures. It takes us working together to make our return to campus possible.
In the weeks ahead we will continue planning for the fall semester. Registration is already underway. I expect most of our classes to remain online. We will gradually introduce more courses that require some form of face-to-face instruction as the COVID-19 situation permits.
We know the situation evolves daily and will adjust our plans as needed. Your health and safety remains our top priority. Our instructors and staff continue to work closely with Campus Safety & Operations to ensure everyone follows the safety protocols. Together, we will create and sustain a healthy environment for everyone on our campuses. I appreciate your support and understanding.
Richard M. Rhodes, Ph.D.
Austin Community College District