Greetings, TLED team!

Working at a community college requires awareness of the audiences we serve and ensuring we have the skills to meet their needs such as our ability to thoughtfully and purposefully engage each other within an inclusive, civil, just, and equity-minded framework. We can’t emphasize enough the significance of onboarding to the experience of those entering new environments.

So this week’s messages starts with the news that TLED has onboarded its newest member, Michael Robert DeLeon, who arrived on Sunday, September 22nd at 2:16 am.  Baby and parents are doing well, and Miguel will be back in the office next week.

At ACC, this work applies to our students, employees and even our board members. The scope and involvement of areas within TLED in onboarding and orientations dates back to 2011 when we worked on a project for then president, Steve Kinslow, to develop materials for the Board of Trustees Orientation. We supported the design of a website, orientation PowerPoint, graphics and posters that aligned ACC vision, mission, master plan, accountability and institutional advancement.

  1. Since that time, areas now within TLED have been working on student onboarding through the student success initiative and, for the last 4 years, through Guided Pathways. Areas in TLED have been partners or led this work including:
    • Designing ACC’s first online student orientation, ACC-101, that showed significant gains in persistence for those who participated, particularly gains for men of color.
      • FTIC (First Time in College) students who completed our ACC-101 online orientation had an 18.6% higher persistence rate than those who had no orientation, and 9% higher persistence rate than those who completed the orientation in person.
      • African-American Males who completed our ACC-101 online orientation had a 38.3% higher persistence rate than those who had no orientation, and 11.3% higher persistence than those who completed the orientation in person.
      • Hispanic Males who completed our ACC-101 online orientation had a 23.7% higher persistence rate than those who had no orientation, and 11.5% higher persistence than those who completed the orientation in person.
    • Participated in committee on the planning and design of the student application
    • Recommended review of overlapping job functions and conducted ACAP’s to redefine and update adviser and counselor job descriptions
    • Supporting the design and development of college-wide training for advisers
    • Initiated program map design and development meetings, managed the program map development process
    • Completed updates of initial transfer and employment/career information on the program maps
    • Developed the first ACC Online Catalog and recently integrated maps into the catalog
    • Supported the legislative TSI Test redesign mandate, the THECB statewide information campaign, and created the required TSI Preparation module and resources.  Our design was shared statewide as a model for this work.
    • Produced resources for the Area of Study Information Sessions and now supporting ACC advising with the redesign of this process by producing media resources
  1. TLED has also led the initiative to improve faculty onboarding as part of the career sequence of instructors. In collaboration with Faculty Senate, the Adjunct Faculty Association, and the Human Resources Division, we have worked hand-in-hand to design and develop a more robust and expanded program for new faculty. To inform our work, we hosted open forums, engaged faculty leadership in dialogue, initiated a faculty-led task force to research and provide recommendations, and collected survey data. This fall, our Faculty Development Office hosted the first, newly minted, faculty onboarding program, grounded in the faculty values, for more than 60 new full-time faculty and more than 100 adjunct faculty.


  1. For the past year we have also offered new department chairs and head librarians the opportunity to participate in an onboarding program designed for faculty leaders. TLED has led this work through:
    • Supporting the review of Department Chair job descriptions ACAPs conducted for transfer program chairs and workforce program chairs
    • Using the ACAP content to create our firstdepartment chair onboarding program (Fall 2018)
    • A key part of the department chair’s role is use of systems and processes to undertake job duties, in addition to the comprehensive managerial practices and strategies.  We are working with college offices such as Purchasing, Scheduling, IT and others to create online resources that help chairs gain theses skills and information prior to starting their assignments
    • Creating Web pages dedicated to new faculty and for department chairs
    • We want to develop a year-long schedule and calendar of department chair events and opportunities to support professional development opportunities
    • Last year’s program curriculum is currently being revised with plans to launch a comprehensive New Faculty Leadership Program in the fall of 2020
  1. And within TLED, we will be developing improved onboarding for our own faculty and staff in relation to division-specific needs. Library Services has a long-standing program and model for this, and we will leverage their work in collaboration to support the division-wide planning for onboarding. Stay tuned for an opportunity to participate in this work.


Proving college stakeholders the necessary information and resources when hired to carry out their roles will ensure ACC continues to be the best place to work, learn and help everyone reach personal and professional goals.

Everyone plays a role in welcoming and helping those who are new to ACC. Our work makes a difference!

Many thanks,



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Susan M. Thomason, Ph.D.

Associate Vice President, TLED

Austin Community College District

5930 Middle Fiskville Rd. Austin, Texas 78752

512.223.7796 / 512.223.7667  |