Austin Community College and the Texas Department of Information Resources are partnering to create a new technology and cybersecurity apprenticeship program for students. ACC Highland Campus hosted a formal signing ceremony on June 28 to launch the new program.

The overview

The new program will allow students to continue pursuing an education while simultaneously developing career skills in a hands-on setting. According to ACC, in the last year alone the college had over 100 students complete apprenticeships in various departments including health sciences, manufacturing and more.

The details

The partnership aligns with House Bill 584—a bill that took effect Sep. 1, 2023 which declares state information departments can partner with “public junior colleges or public technical institutes to address shortages in the state information resources.”

Texas Rep. Donna Howard said the new partnership could be mutually beneficial for ACC students and the state departments participating.

“We could look at an apprenticeship...and a credential to create a position for IT cybersecurity that could lead to an associate degree and create a situation where the Department of Information Resources at the state could actually hire folks without a four-year degree, but who actually have the experience and the knowledge to protect the resources that we have in our systems,” Howard said.

Going forward

DIR will be the employer for the pilot program and ACC will use this model for future program partners, including business and industry.

ACC stated their next partnership program will be with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.