Students may get automatic admission to UT through core courses at ACC

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David Bergeron, David Laude and Tom Melecki participate in a financial panel to discuss student duel enrollment in both ACC and UT Austin.  Starting in the fall, students will allowed to be similtaneously enrolled in hopes of saving thousands of dollars in student loans.

Photo Credit: Gabriella Belzer | Daily Texan Staff

Following a new deal between Austin Community College and UT, students will automatically gain admission to the University after meeting minimum eligibility requirements at ACC starting fall 2013. In an effort to reduce tuition costs and increase graduation rates, ACC and UT established a program called Path to Admission through Co-Enrollment, which will give students the opportunity to earn transferable credits off campus.

At a financial aid panel Thursday, David Laude, chemistry professor and senior vice provost for enrollment and graduation management, said he hopes the policy will save students thousands of dollars while giving them a UT-quality education at the ACC Rio Grande campus. 

Students admitted to the new program will take four core classes at ACC, and an undergraduate studies signature course on the UT campus. Laude said the core classes offered at ACC will be comparable to UT courses.  

“There won’t be much of a difference between a chemistry class here and at ACC,” Laude said. “The syllabi and the level of difficulty will be similar.” 

UT spokesperson Tara Doolittle said ACC and UT faculty are working together to make sure the core curriculum at ACC lines up with classes at UT. 

Doolittle said unlike other UT system-wide coordinated admissions programs, which offer automatic admission to students completing eligibility requirements at other UT schools, the new program allows students to take classes taught by faculty from the main campus and be classified as UT students while also fulfilling requirements at ACC. 

“It is an extension of an existing relationship between ACC and UT announced last month that would allow students to get an associates, before going to UT,” Doolittle said. “Those who are in the top nine and 10 percent of their class, who would get automatic admission anywhere else, would qualify for this program.” 

Upon completion of core courses at ACC and meeting a minimum GPA of 2.5, students will be automatically admitted into UT, Doolittle said.

Richard Rhodes, president of ACC, said the program is a collaborative effort to improve access to higher education.

“[The program] represents two sectors of higher education working together to create better pathways for students to achieve their dreams,” Rhodes said. “In this case, that dream is to achieve a bachelor’s degree from UT Austin.”

The announcement was made during a discussion on financial aid solutions and initiatives to increase four-year graduation rates. 

Published on March1, 2013 as "Program to ease tranfers from ACC".