It has been a challenging few months since the COVID-19 pandemic
forced us all to adapt like never before. Together, we transitioned the college to a
virtual teaching, learning, and working environment. I am beyond proud of your
perseverance and achievements. Now, your college will begin the gradual process to
return to campus.
There are still many unknowns. It is imperative that we take a measured approach to
prioritize the health and well-being of each and every member of our community.
Starting July 6, Austin Community College will implement its Return to Campus Plan.
We established new protocols informed by the latest guidelines from national, state, and
local health authorities as well as the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
While details are available online on the new Return to Campus website, I want to
provide you an overview.
Returning in Phases
ACC will reopen in phases, allowing us the opportunity to learn, adjust as needed, and
scale up thoughtfully. Starting in the second summer session, ACC will bring back a
small number of student services and advanced workforce classes that require face-to-
face interaction. If all goes well, we will expand those offerings in the fall. Staff who are
needed to provide on-site support will also return. However, in an effort to limit on-
campus traffic and person-to-person contact, the majority of our classes, services, and staff work will remain online.
Access to campuses and facilities will be limited to essential faculty and staff and
students enrolled in face-to-face courses. All currently enrolled students also will have
access to in-person learning support in each region of our district — at the Round Rock
and Highland Campus ACCelerators and Hays Campus library. Appointments will be
Health & Safety Protocols
Please come prepared for new procedures. There will be one entrance at every building
for students and employees. All who are on campus will be required to follow ACC’s
Health & Safety Protocols, which include:
- Self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms using a new ACC Health Screen App. The app will be available to download soon.
- Showing your ACC I.D. at the door.
- No-touch temperature checks.
- Facial covering/mask worn in all common areas.
- Social distancing and regular hand washing.
The college is producing a training video, which will be available online by June 24. I
encourage you to take a moment to watch the video.
I want to thank the many faculty, staff, and administrators who helped develop these
strategies and protocols. There are many decisions yet to be made, and we anticipate
the COVID-19 pandemic to influence our actions in the months ahead. Updates will be
posted to the Return to Campus website.
While many of us are excited to return to campus, I recognize that you may also feel
anxious about our return. I want to remind you that there are many resources and
support services available. I encourage you to visit ACC’s Coronavirus website for
more information. We are committed to providing you a quality education in a safe
learning, teaching, and working environment. Thank you for being part of this amazing
Richard M. Rhodes, Ph.D.
Austin Community College District