ACC Board of Trustees November 6 Recap

The Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees met for its regular meeting on Monday, November 6. Highlights include the beginning discussion of a plan for districtwide child care and a deep look into the data.

Below are highlights from the meeting.

First Work Session for ACC Child Care Review

ACC Chancellor Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart and the cabinet joined the ACC Board of Trustees for the first in a series of special workshops. The meeting was held before the official regular board meeting in November. The group discussed the relation between student success and child care access. They shared and examined regional, state, and national data to better understand where ACC currently stands. Work sessions focused on child care will continue over the next few months, with one in December looking at a framework for solutions, followed by recommendations in January and an expected vote in February. 

ACC Data Overview 

ACC Vice Chancellor of Institutional Research & Analytics Dr. Jenna Cullinane Hege discussed graduation rates, where students are going if not ACC, and our fall 2023 enrollment numbers.

According to the data, ACC was the fastest-improving college in Texas regarding graduation rates, rising from 7% to 22% in four of the past five years. Additionally, ACC found that meeting with an advisor or academic tutor two or more times in a semester increases student persistence into the next term by 13 percentage points and 7 percentage points, respectively.

However, the data shows these graduation numbers have stalled or dipped at ACC and each of our Texas peer colleges. Another issue is that graduating high school seniors are optioning out of college altogether. In 2012, 17% of area high school seniors chose ACC, 38% chose another institution of higher education, and 46% could not be found. In 2021, ACC’s share declined to 9%, 24% chose another school, and 57% could not be found enrolled at any Texas college or university.

Dr. Lowery-Hart will use ACC’s data to help inform decisions for the college’s plans and theory of change as part of his first 100 days. He is planning a collegewide data summit in February and plans to announce the date before the college closes for winter break.

Board Approves Series of Contracts

The Board unanimously approved multiple contracts. The first allows the administration to negotiate rooftop solar arrays at the south parking garage at the Highland Campus. The solar arrays are expected to save the college $100,000 annually in energy costs.

The second contract allows the college to execute a temporary construction easement and road construction contract at the San Gabriel Campus. The third contract is for a districtwide solid waste disposal service, as demand has increased with more students and employees returning to campus. 

Finally, the Board approved the administration to renew contracts with several firms that provide temporary employees. Most contract employees at the college are used to support the college’s Information Technology department. 

View all recordings from the meeting here.

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