New program accelerates degree completion

By Austin Community College

Austin Community College District (ACC) students can now earn an entire associate degree through eight-week courses.

Starting new this fall, ACC will launch an eight-week pathway for the Associate of Science in Business Administration degree (BUA). All classes will be offered at Northridge Campus. Students earn the same amount of credit hours while taking fewer classes at one time.

“Even small roadblocks can knock students off course. Life can get in the way of progress. This new program allows students to earn credits faster and reduce those impacts,” ACC Provost Dr. Monique Umphrey says. “Finding innovative ways to support our students toward completion is at the heart of our mission. We believe equitable student outcomes are the key to fulfilling that mission of open access to social and economic mobility pathways.”

The eight-week class format gives students more flexible options to fit classes into their schedules. Research shows students enrolled in eight-week courses tend to complete more semester credit hours on average. Data also indicate increased student persistence, retention and completion rates when transitioning to eight-week teaching sessions.

“We aim to provide students with a more focused and manageable academic experience,” says Lorlie Ellis, dean of the business area of study. “Instead of juggling multiple courses simultaneously, students can concentrate on one or two classes at a time — dive deeper into the subject matter, engage more effectively with their instructors and peers, and ultimately achieve greater success.”

In addition to the all-new associate degree pathway, ACC also will offer a full slate of eight-week course options in a variety of programs and degree tracks. While options will be available at multiple campuses and in online formats, the Northridge Campus will be home to eight-week options — featuring the most robust course offerings across all subjects.

Students have access to free tutoring, academic coaching, advising, counseling, technology support and more. The eight-week courses also allow students access to full-time financial aid benefits as long as they enroll in at least 12 classes over the course of the semester.

This article originally appeared here.

Austin Community College

is located in Austin, Texas.