Coming in the Monday, July 7, 2014 Community College Week issue
There was a time not long ago when the Highland Mall in Austin was the unquestioned place to be. As the city’s first indoor shopping mall, it opened in 1971, had nearly 200 stores and remained popular through the mid-1990s. It was a destination for Texans from around the state. Forty years later, the mall’s anchor stores have closed and its large parking lot is largely empty, and Highland mall is being transformed into a destination of a different sort – an educational hub boasting some of higher education’s most innovative educational approaches. This September, Austin Community College will open its Highland Campus inside a refurbished and remodeled mall. It will be ACC’s 12th campus, and with the capability of accommodating 6,000 students, it’s largest. At its center will be a 600-station math emporium designed to speed students through development math sequences. ACC officials hope the new campus not only will ease overcrowding throughout the system, but also serve as a catalyst for the redevelopment of a neighborhood that has been in decline for decades.