ACC program offers accelerated pathway for adult learners

Adults without a high school diploma or GED can start college immediately, thanks to a new grant offering free classes through Austin Community College’s (ACC) Career Pathways program.

Funded by the Texas Workforce Commission, the grant allows students to enter ACC through the “ability to benefit” enrollment process. The cost of two classes— including tuition and fees, textbooks, supplies, and bus passes — is covered. Once students successfully complete the two classes, they are eligible to apply for federal financial aid to pay for additional college.

“Students who don’t have a high school diploma can receive financial aid once they show their ability to benefit by passing college-level courses,” says Katherine Dowdy, interim executive director of the Adult Education Division, which oversees the Career Pathways Program. “This opportunity removes any financial barriers that might prevent them from showing they are ready and able to pursue a college credential and career.”

To enter the program, students must complete a Career Pathways application, attend an information session, take an assessment exam, and meet with a Career Pathways program coordinator.

Eligible participants complete the admissions process for credit classes and co-enroll in the college’s Adult Education Division. They can choose from the following career-technical programs. Spring semester classes begin in January.

  • Accounting
  • Architectural and Engineering Computer-Assisted Design (CAD)
  • Auto Body Collision Repair and Refinishing
  • Hospitality Management
  • Information Technology – User and Computer Support
  • Medical Office Administration

Career Pathways is hosting information sessions (see schedule below) at Highland Business Center, 5930 Middle Fiskville Road. Registration is recommended.

Career Pathways information sessions

Date Time
Saturday, Oct. 8 1 – 3 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 15 10 a.m. – noon
Wednesday, Oct. 19 6 – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 22 10 a.m. – noon
Saturday, Oct. 29 10 a.m. – noon
Saturday, Nov. 5 10 a.m. – noon

Register Now

For more information, visit the or contact Wilfredo Cerrato,, or call 512-223-7532.

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