ACC Board approves $4 in-district tuition increase
During a regular Alvin Community College board meeting on April 22, regents unanimously approved a $4 per credit hour tuition increase for in-district and $7 for out-of-district students.
The increases, needed to help address projected state funding cuts, will go into effect for the fall 2010 semester.
According to ACC Regent Mike Pyburn, the new tuition rates of $36 per credit hour for in-district and $72 per credit hour for out-of-district are still competitive with other community colleges in the area.
“As long as we’re in the ballpark, I think it’s a good thing,” Pyburn said. “We don’t have much of a choice.”
Non-resident tuition was also increased from $110 to $130 per credit hour.
In other matters, the board also approved the ACC Foundation annual report, which was presented by RBC Financial Consultant Scott Bolton.
After reviewing the losses experienced in 2008 and 2009 and commending the ACC Foundation board for investing long-term and conservatively, Bolton stated, “The market has come back nicely; I feel very good at where we’re at.”
“In the last 12 months, the market has gone up tremendously well for us,” he added.
The report indicates that the ACC Foundation has recovered nearly all of the losses it experienced from the severe market downturn that began at the end of 2008.
In preparation for the upcoming Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) reaffirmation of accreditation, ACC Mathematics Department Chair Jennifer Hopkins made a presentation to the board regarding the purpose, goals, impact and demographics of the department.
“Math does for the brain what exercise does for the body,” she said of the benefits of learning math and the reason it is part of the core curriculum for degrees.
Hopkins reported that nearly a quarter of all ACC students are taking math classes in 111 sections and the department has worked on increasing enrollment, using e-books to decrease costs to students, partnering with the Alvin Independent School District math department and working on a grant in cooperation with Danbury High School.
A troubling trend that the ACC math department has been investigating and trying to improve is the low success rate of students who are required to take developmental math courses before advancing to college-level courses.
Currently, only approximately 9 percent of students who enroll in developmental math courses make it through to their degree goals, she reported.
She advised the board, however, that this trend is nationwide, not just at ACC.
“We are not superstars in developmental education,” Hopkins stated, but the department is working to advance in this area through the use of acceleration programs, redesigning curriculum, offering more supplemental instruction and refocusing on students’ needs.
Pyburn and ACC Regent ‘Bel Sanchez, who works for AISD, discussed the role that school districts and parents should also play in preparing a student for college-level math courses.
For the next approximately eight months, presentations will be made to regents that will cover the programs and services available at ACC. Information from these presentations will be included in the application for reaffirmation due next March to SACS.