More than 1,700 students enroll in college-credit, occupational training, adult basic education, and high school general equivalency courses. Classes are held on the Ridgeview campus in east Austin (formerly L. G. Anderson high school) and at three local high schools.

A Look Back…

ACC leased the former L. G. Anderson High School building from the Austin Independent School District, naming it Ridgeview for its hilltop location in the center of the city’s African-American community. Anderson had been closed in 1971 due to court-ordered school desegregation. Now it became ACC’s only full-time campus and its administrative headquarters. Evening classes were scheduled at four Austin high schools.

Officials spent the spring and summer hiring faculty and staff, starting with Thomas Hatfield, ACC’s first president. Marvin Shwiff, an attorney who spearheaded the effort to establish ACC, became executive dean. Both leaders embraced the multi-campus, “community” aspect of community colleges, and they set out to make higher education, occupational-vocational training, and adult basic education available to anyone at least 18 years old, regardless of race, gender, or class.

The Austin Model Project

The Austin Model Project, an initiative of the Austin Chamber of Commerce to provide vocational and technical training, was administered by Central Texas College. Most instructors in the program joined the ACC faculty.

The first faculty came over from Central Texas College in Killeen, which offered a number of occupational and technical courses in Austin. They were soon joined by scores of full-time and part time instructors. Some boasted academic credentials and others successful work experience, but they all embraced the innovative “open-door” concept.

Students were non-traditional too, on average 10 years older than typical college students. Registrar Ramon Dovalina supervised their registration, and on Monday morning, September 17, the school’s doors opened with much excitement.


ACC Building Trades Dept.

Like most programs, ACC’s Building Trades Department made do with limited space and equipment.