At its January 17 regular session, the Austin Community College District Board of Trustees welcomed newly elected trustees and recognized outgoing board members, reviewed the 2016 Student Success Report, and heard an update about ACC courses that use free or low-cost open educational resources. See other items discussed and a video of the proceedings on the Board Meeting Agendas, Minutes, and Recordings webpage.
New trustees welcomed
ACC President/CEO Dr. Richard Rhodes recognized departing trustees Allan Kaplan, Jeffrey Richard, Guadalupe Sosa, and Dr. Victor Villarreal. Each expressed pride in the college and its students and gratitude to the ACC community. Kaplan, the board’s longest-serving trustee, called upon the new trustees to carry the college forward with the trust and integrity.
“You have been elected to serve on one of the best community college boards in the nation and certainly the best public body in Central Texas,” he said.
Recently elected trustees Sean Hassen and Julie Nitsche were sworn in. Swearing-in ceremonies for trustees Nora de Hoyos Comstock and Nicole Eversmann were in December.
Trustees elected Dr. Barbara Mink for board chair, Gigi Edwards Bryant for vice chair, and Mark Williams for secretary.
Student Success Report
ACC Executive Vice President/Provost Dr. Charles Cook presented the 2016 Student Success Report. Board policy calls for the college to annually report its progress in meeting the student success goals.
Cook noted a few college initiatives and achievements in the four focus areas of connection, entry, progress, and completion. Some highlights:
- Early college high school enrollment jumped 298 percent from fall 2012 to fall 2016.
- Career Academies for information technology, health sciences, and construction trades launched in 2015 and 2016. The academies offer high school students the chance to earn dual credit and technical certifications.
- The percentage of first-time-in-college students in developmental reading, writing, or math who became TSI-complete within one year increased for each subject from fall 2014 to fall 2015.
- The number of degrees awarded rose 71 percent from 2012 to 2016, in part due to more reverse transfer degrees and to new processes to identify and assist students who meet or almost meet graduation requirements.
- An expanded the number of credentials contributed to a 292 percent increase in credit and noncredit marketable skills awards (recently renamed occupational skills awards) from 2012 to 2016.
View or download the complete Student Success Report.
Dr. Cook also updated trustees on a grant-funded initiative to offer a degree that can be completed using free or low-cost open educational resources (OER) instead of proprietary textbooks. For spring, ACC offers 11 general education courses that feature OER. (Courses are: ENGL 1301 and 1302; MATH 1332; GOVT 2305; CHEM 1311/1111; PHYS 1401 and 1402; SPCH 1311 and 1315; and SOCI 1301.) Almost 730 students are enrolled in the courses, representing about 79 percent of the enrollment capacity.
By spring 2019 students will be able to earn a general studies degree by taking courses using only open educational resources. (See details at ACC receives grant to develop open educational resources.)
Will Davis Sr. tribute
Dr. Rhodes read a proclamation by the board honoring founding Trustee Will D. Davis Sr., who passed away December 12. Davis served three terms as president of the Austin ISD Board of Trustees overseeing ACC and remained a board member until 1982. The ACC board presented the proclamation to Davis’ son Will Davis Jr.
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