The University Partnership Summit: Faculty Conversations was held on Friday, April 12, 2019 for the purpose of increasing faculty engagement and leadership in Austin Community College’s guided pathways implementation.

This series, initiated in 2017 and led by Dr. MaryJane McReynolds (Director, Office of Articulation & University Relations), has the overall goal of strengthening and expanding our university relationships by focusing on faculty’s important role in increasing transfer efficiency and effectiveness. This Summit’s dialogue focused the Public and Social Services (PSS) Area of Study: American Sign Language Interpreter Studies, Criminal Justice, Emergency Management, Fire Protection Technology, Human Services, Paralegal and Social Work departments were all in attendance.

Groups were organized at individual tables for focused discussions about their discipline. Issues of transferability and applicability of ACC courses to bachelor’s degree requirements was at the core of these conversations.

Key takeaways included:

  • Communication and networking like this event – specifically at this level and this type of focus (e.g. degree-specific) is key to success
  • Clear and accurate degree requirement information must be shared across institutions
  • Universities (programs) should provide accurate information and establish relationships with ACC students
  • Websites need to be accurate and designed for easy navigation
  • BAAS degree programs need to be marketed more
  • Students need to select major and transfer university early, e.g. in their first year so that the transfer mindset can be created and nurtured
  • More AAS pathways should be identified

Participants walked away with new connections in the Texas region and were charged with “taking the next step” in building transfer pathways between ACC and 4-year universities.

More university partners than ever were invited. We added 5 regional Texas universities that offer bachelor’s degree programs in these specific Workforce Education programs. The additional universities were identified and invited after consultation with the Provost and the Associate Vice Presidents of Academic Transfer and Workforce Education. The 10 universities invited include:

  • Concordia University Texas
  • Huston-Tillotson University
  • Lamar University
  • St. Edward’s University
  • Sam Houston State University
  • Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Texas A&M University-Central Texas
  • Texas State University
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of North Texas