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.


All 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.