AUSTIN (KXAN) — On a campus where 70 percent of students have a financial need, Austin Community College is expanding its services to include free food, housing services, and family support.
The student welcome, care, and life centers hope to serve as a one-stop-shop to offer students resources to help with their immediate needs.
It’s the Care Center that offers the least traditional services to the college’s more than 70,000 students. Transportation, weekly groceries, and legal aid are among the areas where students are getting extra help.
“When students are kind of engaged outside of school, outside of the academic realm, they tend to succeed more,” said Student Care Center Manager Vanessa Barrientos.
For many students, getting a degree can often come down to having enough money at the right time. The school’s own data shows the average student is only a $500 personal issue away from having to drop out.
While these centers are currently only open at ACC’s Highlands campus, the college hopes to expand to its ten other campuses as well.
“One of the ways we can measure that it’s successful is by taking some information, like how many students are visiting, and how many students are we serving, and how many students are succeeding from semester to semester that are visiting our centers,” Barrientos said.