Julian Cotto: Fall 2023 Chancellor Student Achievement Award Winner

Fall 2023 Chancellor Student Achievement Award winner Julian Cotto

“ACC is a great place to find direction when you are directionless.” – Julian Cotto, ACC Fall 2023 Chancellor Student Achievement Award winner

More than 3,700 students were invited to Austin Community College District’s fall 2023 commencement ceremony. Friends and family will join these grads as they prepare to walk the stage Thursday, December 7, at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park.

Meet Julian Cotto, this year’s Chancellor Student Achievement Award winner. Julian began at ACC in spring 2022 as a transfer-in student. He is earning his associate degree in Computer Programming and this spring, plans to jump straight into earning his bachelor’s from ACC in Software Development.

Learn more about his ACC journey and the support he received to complete his degree.

About my time at ACC

Most of my time at ACC has been spent in a virtual setting. The professors far exceeded any expectations I had. Each professor offers quality instruction in very unique and creative ways that make learning in an online setting more engaging. When it comes to availability, some professors are instant responders, others respond promptly, and none leave you for an unreasonable amount of time without a response. 

Every semester, I committed to one in-campus class per semester. I have been to Hays, Round Rock, Northridge, Cypress Creek, and Highland campuses. All of the campuses are immaculate. They are all easy to navigate, clean, and comfortable learning environments.

Overall, I enjoyed my experience at ACC. I have been learning a trade that is truly engaging to me and have been learning it from professionals who are also truly engaged by it. 

How it feels to be graduating

I feel very accomplished. I have the tendency to start things and not finish them as evidenced by my transfer credits from other schools. It feels gratifying to have begun something, encountered struggles and life in general along the way, and still see it through to the end. 

My favorite part of attending ACC

The mentally stimulating challenges presented to me in everyday instruction are my favorite part of being a Riverbat. I am doing programming, and there is something so gratifying about how this institution teaches programming. It’s fun, and I enjoy it. Overall, I loved the instruction. It was engaging and kept me mentally stimulated for all semesters.

Faculty I want to recognize

Professor Arturo Gonzalez and Professor Alexander Katrompas. 

Professor Gonzalez’s instruction style ultimately led to me getting a programming job at Spectrum. He taught from Chapter 5 on day one and taught us industry standard coding practices. I was so impressed by the instruction that I took him for Programming Fundamentals II and the instruction was amazing again. 

I couldn’t take Professor Gonzalez’s class for Programming Fundamentals III because he doesn’t teach it. So, I ended up taking the class with Professor Katrompas. It was clear from day one that he was an expert in the software development field. What’s more impressive is his ability to destructure huge abstract ideas and present them in a palatable fashion for the class. Programming Fundamentals III is one of the most mentally straining classes I have ever taken, and yet it was okay because Professor Katrompas could teach a dog to program with his level of expertise. 

My next steps

I plan on returning to ACC and pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Software Development. I have enough knowledge for the job that I have, but not for the job that I want. I hope to get my bachelor’s degree in May 2025.

My advice to someone considering applying for college

What seems like a large step becomes so much more simple once you cross the threshold. ACC is a very welcoming environment for learners of all varieties. My experience was largely spent online, yet I could still network with peers and get the knowledge and help I needed at any point along the way.

Back to Top

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *