The Austin Chronicle

How Austin Community College's Highland Campus Is Redefining Higher Education in Austin

World-class facilities and innovative programs put ACC Highland on the cutting-edge

By Kimberley Jones, August 20, 2021, Features

By the time it closed in 2015, the old Highland Mall had gotten, let's say, a little droopy. But when it first opened in 1971 as Austin's first ever indoor shopping mall, the Highland Mall was a trailblazer. And so it's fitting that, upon purchasing the property and land along Airport Boulevard that once housed the mall, Austin Community College has set about restoring that trailblazing reputation by turning the 81-acre tract of land into a state-of-the-art campus. That transformation has been ongoing, with the first in-person classes at ACC Highland phase two beginning last spring – and in the middle of a pandemic, no less. In anticipation of the fall semester – one again complicated by another COVID surge in Austin, which has prompted ACC to move many courses to online-only for the first three weeks – we've taken a closer look at some of the newest facilities and most innovative programs defining the ACC Highland experience.

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