With video growing as an instructional tool, ACC offers its first telecourse. The college’s well-established standards and practices for distance education would support students and faculty much later when the COVID-19 pandemic requires a temporary shift to remote learning. ACC in 2023 offers 40 degrees and certifications that can be completed fully online, a number that is expected to grow.
A Look Back…
ACC used video as an instructional tool almost from the time the college opened its doors. Chemistry instructor James Archer and Physics instructor John Cise used video to illustrate key principles. Similarly, Charles (Chale) Nafus prepared and used a video program series called Espiritu de Aztlan. ACC’s first dean of instruction, George Wilkerson, and English instructor Lennis Polnac took a step further and produced and acted the parts of student and teacher in the video program titled “Ask Mr. English.”
In the spring 1978, however, government instructor Ron Brey took the college a giant step into the future of higher education with ACC’s first distance learning telecourse: United States Government 2613. Instead of reading everything in a book at home and then discussing it in class, the new telecourses used professionally produced programs that visually and instantly transported students to the scenes of functioning government offices and the leaders of the nation’s three branches of government.
The programs were produced and licensed to ACC by the Dallas County Community College District.