AUSTIN, Texas - Austin Community College District is set to begin a gradual return to campus beginning in July.
ACC released new health and safety procedures and protocols Friday to safely phase in a small number of workforce classes and student services requiring face-to-face interaction. All other classes are set to remain online and the majority of employees will be asked to continue working remotely.
“While we are all eager to return to campus, the health and safety of our students and employees is our first priority. The transition back will be gradual; we’re starting off small. Only the programs that truly require face-to-face interaction like in our welding classes and nursing labs will return to campus at this time, but we recognize our plan may change,” said president and CEO Dr. Richard Rhodes. “ACC continues to closely monitor the pandemic in our community, and our timeline will evolve as needed.”
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ACC plans to slowly integrate face-to-face classes, starting with a small amount of technical hands-on programs like Welding, Automotive, and Nursing that can't fully be taught online, beginning on July 6. ACC says these courses will have small class sizes and new protocols in place. Students unable to complete classes during the spring semester or are close to graduation will be given priority.
Student support services, including free tutoring, academic coaching, library services and tech support, will remain online. Beginning July 6, learning labs at the Round Rock and Highland campuses and the library at Hays Campus will be opened to currently enrolled students by appointment only.
ACC says that if the pandemic allows, it will slowly scale up in-person courses in the fall, but remain focused on classes requiring some face-to-face components. Most of the classes that can be online will stay online and all courses already listed online will stay online.
Registration for fall begins on Monday, June 15.
ACC's Return-to-Campus committee developed the district's new health and safety protocols, which include:
- Self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms using a new ACC Health Screen App, available to download soon
- Showing an ACC-issued I.D. at the door
- No-touch temperature checks
- Facial covering/mask worn in all common areas
- Social distancing and regular hand washing
ACC says it continues to monitor the pandemic and will follow local, state, and national health recommendations as well as the guidelines set forth by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The timeline will evolve as circumstances demand.
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