Austin Community College Riverside: The Institution’s Third Campus


Established in 1972, the Austin Community College is a public community college system, the sixth-largest in the United States, catering top-notch education to Austin, Texas, and communities from the metropolitan area and Central Texas. Today, the institution continues to provide students with high-quality training and education, foster student development and success, all towards economic advancement, character enrichment, and social equality.

ACC serves over 100,000 students, taking academic, post-secondary, and adult education programs, under distance learning gateways or scattered in numerous locations and centers in Texas. One of its earliest campuses is in Riverside, which is also one of the most advanced and forward-thinking in the ACC system.

View of Lady Bird Lake towards downtown Austin

History of ACC Riverside

In 1972, Austin Community College made its humble beginnings in east Austin, using a building formerly occupied by the Anderson High School and naming it as the Ridgeview Campus. Three years later after its establishment, its second campus, Rio Grande, opened in downtown Austin in a building formerly used by Austin High School.

While the first two campuses found their home in former schools, ACC’s third home, the Riverside Campus, was established in 1984 in a rather strange location -Austin’s Country Club’s former site.

Of course, it was very apparent that the ACC didn’t have the capabilities and resources to run and develop the 193-area area it had. Plus, the institution certainly didn’t need a golf course nor has it dreamt of hosting a golf sports program.

However, for Austin residents, golfing then was incredibly popular, increasing the demand for golf courses. With that, ACC made use of the tract of land by allowing the City of Austin to lease the golf course while keeping a small part and the clubhouse then renovated it for classroom use.

The establishment of the Riverside Campus came in the perfect time as the Health Sciences Program was struggling to find more laboratory space and classrooms. As the old Brackenridge Hospital building met the wrecking ball, students from the program had to use Southwest Center, located in a business in southwest Austin.

ACCelerator in ACC's Highland Campus

Despite that, the space was sufficient enough, putting the accreditation of Health Sciences in peril. Fortunately, ACC’s Riverside Campus came, giving them not only the program but the institution its new refuge.

After the Riverside, more campus locations were added in the ACC system: Northridge Campus (1989), Pinnacle Campus (1990), Eastview Campus (1999) that replace the original Ridgeview Campus, South Austin Campus (2006), Round Rock Campus (2010), Elgin Campus (2010), Highland Campus (2013), Hays Campus (2014), and the latest addition, San Gabriel Campus in 2018.

ACC Campus Locations

ACC Riverside Today

Almost four decades later, the Austin Community College Riverside evolved to be one of the educational systems’ most cutting-edge and progressive campuses. It now also serves as a home to the Engineering Technology Program, allowing students to study a wide array of subjects, such as robotics, nanoelectronics, and renewable energy, and technical skills, like automotive, and building construction.

nanoelectronicsAll students from Riverside expect not only top-level education but also a wide range of support, services, and perks, from counseling, library services, advising, tutoring, and a whole lot more, all contributing to transforming them as all-around learners.

ACC Riverside Campus Features

The ACC Riverside Campus is committed to integrating advanced technology into its educational offerings, creating a rich learning environment for students across various disciplines. Here’s a deeper look into the campus’s technological and educational infrastructure:

Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Technology

ACC Riverside is at the forefront of technological education, housing the prestigious Tesla START Manufacturing Program. This initiative not only offers hands-on training in manufacturing but also aligns with cutting-edge industry standards to prepare students for future challenges in high-demand fields.

Applied Technology Facilities

The campus boasts state-of-the-art facilities that provide practical training in diverse areas such as computer-aided design, robotics, automotive technology, and welding. These facilities are designed to mirror real-world working conditions, enhancing its students’ educational experience and employment readiness.

Latino/Latin American Studies Center (El Centro)

El Centro, another hallmark of Riverside, enriches the campus culture and academic life by focusing on Hispanic heritage. It offers educational programs and activities highlighting the contributions of Hispanic cultures to local and state history, fostering a broader understanding among the student body.

ACC Program Offerings

Austin Community College Riverside Campus offers a diverse array of programs across various disciplines. Here’s an overview of some notable programs:

Tesla START Manufacturing Program

A unique 14-week training partnership with Tesla, providing hands-on learning and skills essential for careers in manufacturing. Participants work with cutting-edge technologies and, upon completion, are eligible for full-time positions at Tesla.

Students interested in this program can enroll in the following degrees and certificates:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Specialization Level 1 Certificate: Focuses on manufacturing fundamentals with a specialization in advanced manufacturing techniques.
  • Manufacturing Engineering Technology Bachelor’s Degree: Provides a comprehensive education in manufacturing engineering, preparing students for various roles within the industry.

Health Sciences

The Health Sciences Department at Austin Community College Riverside is a premier provider of healthcare education in the Austin Metro area. Renowned for its robust curriculum, the department offers a variety of programs, including nursing, dental hygiene, and emergency medical services, which are all designed to provide practical, hands-on training.

These programs offer in-depth knowledge and focus on real-world applications, ensuring that graduates are well-prepared for the workforce. With impressive job placement rates, ACC Riverside stands as a pillar of healthcare education, equipping students with the skills necessary for a successful career in health services.

Students can pursue several degrees under this program, including:

  • Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN): Prepares students for careers as registered nurses.
  • Dental Hygiene Associate Degree: Offers comprehensive training in dental care and hygiene.
  • Emergency Medical Technician Certificate: Provides the essentials for initial certification in emergency medical services.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Radiology: Trains students in radiographic technology and procedures.
  • Vocational Nursing Certificate: Focuses on the practical skills needed for vocational nursing roles.

Automotive Technology

The Automotive Technology program at ACC Riverside offers thorough training in both automotive technology and outdoor power equipment. The curriculum is designed to develop essential diagnostic skills and a deep understanding of system theory, ensuring students are well-prepared for real-world challenges. This program meticulously prepares students for careers in automotive services, a field that consistently demands highly skilled technicians.

Students can enroll in the following degrees and certificates within this program:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology: Prepares students with comprehensive knowledge from repairs to advanced diagnostic techniques for a broad range of automotive positions.
  • Certificate Level 1 in Automotive Technology: Focuses on fundamental automotive skills suitable for entry-level positions.
  • Advanced Technical Certificate in Automotive Management: Offers advanced training for those seeking managerial roles in the automotive industry.

Business Programs

The Business Programs at ACC Riverside cater to a variety of business-related interests and career goals, including accounting, marketing, and international business, among others. These comprehensive programs are meticulously crafted to give students the essential skills to thrive in diverse business environments. By integrating practical experience with theoretical knowledge, ACC ensures its graduates are well-prepared to enter the competitive business world.

Students interested in these programs can pursue several degrees and certificates:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration: Provides a broad foundation in business principles.
  • Certificate in Accounting: Focuses on the essential skills needed for accounting roles.
  • Associate Degree in International Business: Prepares students for a global business career with a focus on international trade practices.
  • Marketing Certificate: Offers targeted training in marketing strategies and tools.

Welding Technology

The Welding Technology program is designed to accommodate varying educational needs and offers flexible formats from specialty certificates to comprehensive college degrees. This program provides a broad spectrum of skills, from basic welding techniques to complex skyscraper construction projects. By providing flexible learning formats, ACC ensures that students gain the practical and theoretical knowledge necessary for success in the welding industry.

Students can pursue the following degrees and certificates in this program:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology: Provides extensive training for various welding techniques and applications.
  • Certificate Level 1 in Welding: Focuses on fundamental welding skills for entry-level employment.
  • Advanced Technical Certificate in Welding: Targets individuals looking to specialize further or pursue supervisory roles in the field.

Building Construction Technology

The Building Construction Technology program at ACC Riverside is strategically designed for individuals aiming to assume leadership roles within the construction industry. This program focuses on managing construction projects and imparts a thorough understanding of advanced manufacturing processes critical to the construction sector. The curriculum is tailored to nurture management skills and technical expertise, preparing students for top-level responsibilities in construction project oversight.

Students can enroll in the following degrees under this program:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Building Construction Technology: This degree provides a comprehensive education in construction management and technologies.
  • Certificate in Construction Management: Focuses on the essential skills and knowledge needed for effective project management in construction settings.


Austin Community College Riverside Campus is distinguished by its comprehensive offerings and advanced facilities within the ACC district. It uniquely combines specialized programs such as the Tesla START Manufacturing Program with a strong focus on student life and cultural enrichment, highlighted by initiatives like El Centro. ACC Riverside equips students with crucial skills and a supportive environment, making it an excellent choice for those pursuing careers in technology and beyond.

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