Austin Community College Is Coming Up In The World…


Austin Community College Headquarters - Wiki Commons Public Domain

Austin Community College Headquarters – Wiki Commons Public Domain

This past weekend our local community college (ACC) held a career and college exploration event for prospective and returning students.

And it was a pretty great event, I thought!

I attended with my son, who has aspirations of pursuing both robotics and music degrees in his future. And while he might be accepted into one program at UT Austin or another Texas university of his choice, the likelihood of being accepted to both programs he wants… is not so likely. Hence, taking a look at the possibility of music opportunities at the community college level. Recently I’d heard that ACC was now offering a 2 year music degree.

Back Story

A music degree was not something they offered back in my day. I took 12 hours of classes 20 years ago back when I moved from East Texas to Austin with the intention of finishing out my music BA (that I’d started 7 years prior), but switched away from when I moved to my second university that had no music program, and then pursuing my masters and later my doctorate in Music Theory.

At the time, though I’d met with department heads, I couldn’t afford to enter the UT Austin music program. So I looked to the local community college (often dubbed “Anyone Can Come” back then) for possible classes. They didn’t have a regular music degree there, but they did have a Music Business degree. Which I thought was pretty smart for any musician to consider taking. After all, if you are supposedly pursuing a career in music, why not learn a little about the business side of things. You know, just so you don’t get screwed?

It was great! classes were taught by people actually in the industry. I took piano lessons, music management courses and midi classes. Cutting edge for the time. I even started attending events with the Piano Technicians Guild.

And then, a couple months into the semester my life forever changed. I became pregnant with my oldest! AND I had all day morning sickness from hell. I spent the rest of the semester being that pregnant girl who was trying very hard not to toss her cookies in class. Who sometimes had to run out the room and find a bathroom that was not always very convenient. Somehow I still managed to pull off a 4.0.

Back To Present

Anyway, so for this “exploration event” I went with my son. After all, I was curious to see what might be offered today, since I will likely have to go back to school in the nearer, rather than farther, future.

It was truly impressive how far ACC has come.

I’ve known for some time that we are very blessed in Austin to have the resources we do through our local community college. Seriously better than many colleges around the nation. Many of the teachers are directly in the industry, or they are teaching at local universities as well as ACC. Pretty seriously sweet. And their credits transfer pretty well around the state.

What surprised me was how many more degrees and resources they have now. Truly knowledgeable programs for so many industries.

And to top it off, I couldn’t believe I was still in their system! They had all my records from 20 years ago, this semester. And they told me, if I ever want to come back and take more classes, it’s simply a matter of reconfirming my residency and I’m considered a returning student. Crazy!

For my son, they had almost anything he could want, that a 2-year degree could handle. He’s looking to add dual credit classes to his next semester, so it definitely helped give him an idea what he might pick. As it is, he only needs an elective, so anything music related, even if music technology related, should work well for him.

All in all, a valuable amount of time spent.

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