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ACC Opens Center to Help Reduce 'Summer Melt'

Austin Community College
A new center at ACC looks to help students navigate the process of college enrollment.

Students heading to college have many steps to take before they can enroll. Some of those steps, like navigating the financial aid system, choosing which courses to take and finally scheduling classes, can be daunting for some students. 

Austin Community College is trying to make the process easier for students by establishing a new center to help shepherd struggling students through the process.

Elizabeth Crump moved to Austin two weeks ago from North Carolina. She’s sitting in ACC’s new College Destination Center with college recruiter, Tung Huynh, trying to figure out how many of her community college credits will transfer. 

“That math class that you took, that does equal college math. So your survey class is equivalent. So you’re actually done with math,” Huynh says.

Crump responds with an emphatic “Yes!”

If she has questions about financial aid, Huynh can answer them, too.  The College Destination Center is a pilot program at ACC — a one-stop shop for students who need help navigating everything from enrollment and financial aid to career services. The center is also aimed at helping prospective students looking to enroll in school or finish up their degree.

“I used to send my kids to different offices,” says Hector Aguayo, a career guidance outreach specialist with the non-profit Capital Idea.

He says putting all the resources in one location will help students navigate the process and “leave [them] with a sense of accomplishment, you know? ‘I can really do this!’”

ACC opened the Destination Center to boost college participation rates in Central Texas and combat the problem of what's called "Summer Melt," when high school graduates intend to go to college, but then don’t actually enroll in the fall.

“Having a center that allows us to provide complete information at one time is ideal for that student who we don’t want to turn away because all of our bureaucratic processes on campus,” says ACC’s Vice President of Student Services Virginia Fraire.

The center is open late on most days, so students who work can stop by after-hours.

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