Austin Community College District (ACC) is exploring opportunities to improve student outcomes, close workforce gaps, and expand access to financial well-being for our community.
On Monday, November 6, the college’s new Chancellor, Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, hosted his first press conference as Chancellor of ACC to share observations from his first month at the college. To date, he has:
- Scheduled tours and conversations at all 11 ACC campuses.
- Scheduled and hosted virtual town hall meetings with both employees and students.
- Engaged with student secret shoppers.
- Scheduled focus groups and work sessions with students and employees.
Key highlights from his first month include:
STUDENT OUTCOMES & EVOLVING CHALLENGES
- In recent years, ACC data indicate growth in improving student outcomes.
- Graduation rates at the college more than tripled over the past six years to 22 percent in 2023.
- Since COVID-19, data indicate ACC student needs have changed.
- College data show 69 percent of ACC students are financially insecure.
- The college is now working on a plan to establish predictive analytics that can identify when and where a student may need support or intervention (such as food, housing, and child care) *before* they experience a crisis that could force them to stop short of completing their program.
- The college will first tackle child care needs.
- Starting November 6, ACC will host specialty work sessions with the Board of Trustees.
- The November 6 meeting will focus on understanding how ACC students are accessing child care services. Subsequent work sessions on child care will be held in December and January.
- The discussion begins with a look at data that show students with child care support do better in the classroom. The college will examine where to put its focus and scale up programs to help the most students.
HOUSE BILL 8 FUNDING
- In 2023, the State of Texas enacted House Bill 8 (HB8).
- The new funding model shifts funding for state colleges from enrollment rates to completion rates.
- In 2023, data show ACC received approximately $6 million in state appropriations based on its current completion rates.
- Other peer colleges in the region received approximately $34 million additional dollars and another received about $28 million.
- ACC will evaluate opportunities to raise its standards and expectations to help more students complete and earn a family-sustaining wage.
Read more about the chancellor’s First 100 Days.Back to Top