Austin Community College
Austin Community College is a nationally recognized two-year public college serving Central Texas. ACC is the primary gateway to higher education and technical training for Austin-area high school graduates and adults who want to earn a degree, learn a marketable skill, and advance their career.
Since it opened in 1973, ACC has grown to serve approximately 78,000 students each year and is among the largest colleges and universities in the nation. The college has a longstanding commitment to student success and remains focused on producing a world-class workforce.STRENGTHENING THE STEM PIPELINE
Through boundary-breaking industry partnerships, ACC is creating new educational pathways with rapid access to STEM careers. There is significant STEM workforce demand in the ACC service area, including more than 8,000 job opportunities in the IT industry and approximately 5,000 available jobs in the healthcare industry. STEM-industry employers increasingly seek candidates with an associate degree or certificate. The college is answering this growing demand with innovative facilities and programming.
ACC’s Highland Campus features the ACCelerator, the nation’s largest computer learning lab. This 600-station lab is revolutionizing how students learn. Since opening in fall 2014, the ACCelerator has served more than 11,000 students taking courses in subjects such as multimedia design, developmental math, and computer programming.
The ACCelerator also provides vital support for competency-based programs that offer a fast track to a credential in the high-demand fields of computer programming, network administration, and IT support. Students taking competency-based courses advance as they master concepts rather than by completing a certain number of credit hours. Those with existing experience and skills can leverage their knowledge to speed time to completion.
The college’s Accelerated Programmer Training (APT), launched in 2013, offers competency-based courses in Computer Information Technology. Since 2014, 77 students earned a degree or certificate through the program, a 50 percent increase in the annual completion rate for Computer Information Technology/Computer Science students. The number of graduates is expected to grow as the program matures. Approximately 90 percent of APT graduates secure a job within 30 days of graduation.
ACC is expanding its facilities for STEM instruction with Phase II of its Highland Campus redevelopment project. This world-class facility will feature a creative and digital arts center, a health sciences/STEM simulation center, a culinary arts and hospitality management center, a workforce innovation area, a small business incubator, a biosciences wet-lab incubator, and expanded areas for continuing education.
ACC also is strengthening its outreach to draw more youth to STEM careers. Dual-credit opportunities are available for area high school students and the college’s Continuing Education Division hosts STEM summer camp programs.
ACC’s programs have made a significant impact on the regional STEM ecosystem. The number of Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science degrees awarded at ACC has increased approximately 120 percent and 14 percent respectively from 2010 to 2014.
CLOSING THE GAP
CENTRAL TEXAS STEM EMPLOYMENT DATA
• 4,700 IT firms
• Employing 100,000+
• IT job openings: 8,000+
• Average Wage: $90,000/annually
• Average entry level wage: $41,700/annually
•Austin’s need for IT workers is outpacing the pool of qualified candidates.
•Growing disparity: Veterans and women are unemployed and underemployed.
ACC launched the Accelerated Programmer Training (APT) program in fall 2013. The online, competency-based learning program is designed to speed entry into high-demand tech careers and lead to a college degree with curriculum developed in partnership with local industries based on their immediate needs.
• Fall 2013: 80
• Fall 2015: 293
• Veterans: 13% of enrolled students
• Women: 37% of enrolled students (nationally women hold 24% of IT positions)
• More than 150
• Industry Review Panel ensures competencies and assessments
• Partners provide practice interview sessions for students
• The number of computer programmer graduates at ACC has more than doubled since its launch.
• 77 APT grads since fall 2014.
“Since the creation of the Austin Community College - Accelerated Programmer Training (APT) they have offered us innovative and efficient ways of finding both interns as well as skilled staff, some of which we have hired as permanent staff. The team at the APT Career Services has been great to work with and we look forward to filling additional positions with their graduates in the coming semesters.” — Eva Wermer, Recruiting Specialist, National InstrumentsOther STEM PROGRAMS AND OUTREACH:
Back To Work 50+
ACC works with community, business, and industry partners to provide resources and skills to help women 50+ learn skills relevant to today’s workforce. Offered in partnership with the AARP Foundation, Dress for Success, and Workforce Solutions, BACK TO WORK 50+ at ACC offers employer access, community building, and individual and group coaching. Participants also learn computer skills and budget management.
ACC Career Academies give high school students the opportunity to earn workforce credentials and entry-level certifications. The college’s first Career Academy focuses on IT; future academies are proposed for health sciences and manufacturing/construction.
A partnership between ACC and regional nonprofit Capital IDEA, Career Expressway combines accelerated instruction designed to prepare unemployed and underemployed adults for in-demand careers, (such as computer support), with financial assistance, support services, and internship opportunities.
School District Partnerships
ACC also is expanding its partnerships with area school districts. In fall 2015, ACC launched a Career Certification Center in partnership with a local independent school district to provide high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to earn certifications to work as nursing assistants, medical assistants, and computer technicians.
Women in Information Technology
ACC’s Women in Technology program aims to accelerate women into entry-level IT careers by supplementing programs in four IT career pathways with workshops and mentoring specifically for women. This project is funded by the NGLC Breakthrough Models Incubator which is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.