Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

College Council Meeting Minutes November 8, 2007

November 8, 2007
College Office Board Room





Maryann Anderson
Mary Frances Archey  
Gail Boyea          
Charles Blocksidge
Toni Carney
Rod Farkas
Rita Gallegos
Joanne Jeffcoat 
Ralph Proctor 
Maura Stevenson
Barbara Thompson
Allysen Todd
Ping'an Wang
Stephen Wells
Margaret Williams-Betlyn   

Joe Calig  
John Dziak

Mike Murphy
Jane Greenwood
Joseph Nese  
JoAnn Avoli
Mary Lou Kennedy
Kevin Smay 
Joanne Hall 

Maryann Anderson, College Council Chair, called the meeting to order at 2:30 PM. 


Gail Boyea made a motion to approve the minutes of the October 25 th, 2007 meeting of College Council.  Ping ‘an Wang seconded the motion.  The minutes were approved as amended.



Proposal: Deletion of LPN Program (675)

Mary Frances Archey presented the proposal explaining that the proposal was initiated by Michelle Doas prior to her leaving the College. The LPN Program has not admitted students since 2004 and our Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing accreditation for the Program has expired. The proposal will allow us to delete references to the Program in College literature so that we will no longer mislead the public when they search our web page or catalog. There is a possibility that the Program could be offered as a non-credit Program.

Allysen Todd inquired about the need for LPNs especially in long term care facilities and that the demand is increasing. Dr. Archey replied that our former LPN graduates were not working as LPNs but were going on for their RNs. Additionally we cannot find faculty to teach in the Program.

Charles Blocksidge asked when a non-credit Program could start. Peggy Williams-Betlyn replied that the College has hired a consultant who is writing a proposal to establish a non-credit LPN Program and that there must also be State Board approval. Dr. Williams-Betlyn said she hopes to have a non-credit Program running in the Fall 2008. She further stated that we receive up to 16 calls per day about this Program. Harrisburg Community College has a credit RN Program and a non-credit LPN Program so there is a precedent.

Toni Carney made a motion to approve the proposal. Rita Gallegos seconded the motion and the motion passed 12 votes in favor and 2 votes opposed.

Proposal: Changes in the Horticulture Technology Program

Joanne Hall was in attendance to present the proposal. She explained that the changes are necessary to keep the Program, which is suffering from low enrollment, viable. In consultation with her Advisory Board she recommended that the Floriculture Associate degree (202) and diploma (208.1) be discontinued. The two Associate Degree Programs, Landscape Design (203.3) and Landscape and Turf Grass Management (207.2) will be combined to form the Horticulture Technology Associate Degree Program. Horticulture Technology will have 3 options which are Landscape Design, Landscape and Turf Grass Management and Ornamental Horticulture. The Turf Grass Maintenance certificate (229) and the Landscape Horticulture diploma (227) will be eliminated. The Floriculture Certificate (226) will be revised and titled Ornamental Horticulture. The Landscape Design diploma (232) and the Landscape Maintenance certificate (228) will be revised. The proposal calls for 3 new courses and revisions in 5 existing courses

Ms. Hall said there is an expansion in public horticulture and botanical gardens in the area and employment opportunities are good.

Because the Programs are not transfer programs, there will now be less of an academic burden with less challenging courses. This is not a high cost/high priority Program under Act 46.

Steve Wells made a motion to accept the proposal. Joanne Jeffcoat seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.


Rod Farkas reported that the Subcommittee had an email meeting last Thursday. Members are continuing to work on placement testing and the voluntary peer review of distance learning.


Program Review: Health Information Technology (550)

Joanne Avoli and Maryann Anderson presented the Health Information Technology Program Review which included a Special Accreditation Summary Report. Strengths include the Director and Coordinator who are both experienced and credentialed, the computer lab, great clinical sites that are very supportive of the Program, 100% job placement, a 95% pass rate on the National Credentialing Exam, a supportive advisory board, and articulation agreements with the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University.  Both Institutions accept a minimum of 60 credits. The Program would like more graduates to take the credentialing exam soon after graduation. This is an area needing improvement.

The Program has enough faculty and computer hardware, but would like additional software. Program faculty will submit a grant to purchase this.

Toni Carney asked where the assessment measures appear in the Review. Joanne Jeffcoat said that accredited programs don’t need them. Accreditation bodies require assessments but in a different format. It was felt that faculty should not be required to write a separate assessment from what is required for accreditation. We accept the letter of accreditation. Accreditation assessments might have to be put in the Trac Dat Program which monitors assessments.

Allysen Todd made a motion to accept the Program Review. Barbara Thompson seconded the motion and the Program Review passed unanimously.

Program Review: Education (099.2)

Jane Greenwood presented the Program Review for the Teacher Education Program within the Education Discipline which was prepared by Diane Maldonado. The Program prepares students to transfer to 4-year programs. Students transfer with 61 credits and 85% of students surveyed responded that they had achieved their goal here. Mary Frances Archey pointed out that because the Program Review only covered Teacher Education (099.2), the Teacher Assistant Degree and Certificate Programs and the Elementary Education Program will still have to be reviewed.

Rita Gallegos made a motion to accept the Program Review. Joanne Jeffcoat seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Program Review: Paralegal (604.2, 605.2)

Joe Nese was in attendance to present the Paralegal Program Review. Joanne Jeffcoat reported that everything was in order. Mr. Nese, who is the only full-time faculty member in the Program said that he has an excellent advisory board and highlighted the recommendations to continue the availability of the database West Law and increase the potential co-op experiences for students. He did say there is not much data available regarding job placement therefore informed decisions about program improvements are difficult.

Mr. Nese said the enrollment remains constant and the Program is a high cost/high priority Act 46 Program. Dr. Murphy said he has been talking with HighMark and they are always looking for people with the skill sets that successful graduates would have.

Gail Boyea made a motion to accept the Program Review. Steve Wells seconded the motion and the motion passed with 13 in favor and 1 abstention.

Joanne Jeffcoat reported on the Subcommittee’s involvement with the hiring process. Mrs. Jeffcoat distributed a packet of information with data, instructions and a time line for submissions and meetings which will allow the recommendations to come to Council on February 14th.

Some minor changes were made in justification forms for full-time faculty. The Librarian form was accidentally omitted from the packet. The form for Counselors is on hold at the moment.  Each campus will submit one prioritized list that includes all full-time Faculty including Nursing, Counselors, Librarians and Ed. Techs.

Allysen Todd said there is a need to know how many positions are available so that faculty members are not investing a tremendous amount of time for no reason. Even a rough estimate would help.

Dr. Murphy said that on Thursday of next week he will be sharing with the Board a 3 year view. There are serious financial issues at the College. Some options may work but there is no new money. To address the College’s financial needs, there will have to be a reallocation of funds or a tuition increase. The County money is flat, but there is a possibility of a 3% increase from the State. He said that we will have to do things a lot differently. We need to decrease current spending and become more productive. What hurt us was the $1.8 million dollars lost because of the Act 46 stipend issue. But Dr. Murphy will try to alert everyone as soon as possible what the hiring situation looks like.

Faculty recommendations are due to their Deans by Dec 7th. Toni Carney will get back to Joanne Jeffcoat regarding the status of the Counselor hiring form and Mrs. Jeffcoat will get the timelines to the Deans of Students as well.


Proposal: Medical Withdrawal Policy Revision

Mary Lou Kennedy presented the Revision of the Medical Withdrawal Policy. She explained that the policy had not been reviewed since 1972. The two main points of the revisions allow for a partial withdrawal and an alignment of the refund policy for financial aid students and for those that are not on financial aid. The language for the student handbook will be more student-friendly than what is in the Proposal

Ping’an Wang posed the following two questions:

1. Are Instructors always notified of medical withdrawals?

2. If a student withdraws due to mental health issues, will the college require an updated health certification if the same student re-registers in a later semester?

Mary Lou Kennedy answered “no” to both questions.

Mr. Wang mentioned that because withdrawal notices are not always supplied for distance learning students, those students remain on Blackboard even though they have withdrawn. Mike Murphy opined that we need to follow up students who are potentially violent and require that they provide a mental health release before readmitting.

Maura Stevenson made a motion to accept the proposal. Peggy Williams-Betlyn seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.


College Council Protocol

Barbara Thompson presented the College Council protocol with the suggested edits. These will be posted on the College Council website and will be sent to the College Community with the minutes.

R-25 Presentation

Diane Jacobs will attend the November 29th meeting of Council to make an R-25 presentation. She will send a rough draft of her PowerPoint presentation to Council members about a week ahead of time.


 Economic Stipend Issue

Charles Blocksidge distributed the notes and information concerning the Act 46 Economic Stipend. He reviewed what Act 46 is, what the impact has been and what the future holds for us.

He explained that in a large measure, our financial situation is being driven by Act 46. Act 46 is a State stipend given to community colleges based upon how many students are enrolled in programs that will lead to specifically-identified high priority jobs. The State stipend is 1.5 of the base if a student is enrolled in a high cost/high priority (hc/hp) program and 1.25 of the base if the Program is high priority. The stipend is 1.0 of the base if the hc/hp program is non-credit.

Often students who are in hc/hp Programs will be enrolled in General Studies. Students need to be properly enrolled so that the College can receive the proper stipend. The College is making an effort to share this information with faculty and advisors. Marketing has produced a fact sheet on Act 46 Programs which will be distributed to all faculty and staff.

Because this is a relatively new funding program, the College was somewhat caught short. We were notified one week after our budget was adopted what our State allotment would be which caused considerable budgeting problems. This new formula has resulted in our receiving $1.8 million less than expected.

The College has initiated committees and task forces to better understand how Act 46 works and how we can take full advantage of the stipend. On Sept 30th we forwarded a list of our high cost/high priority programs and those we are asking to be added for 2007-2008. The list will come back from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and we will find out what has been approved. By December, each community college must conduct an audit to determine if they have been true to the guidelines.

Toni Carney made a motion to adjourn. Rita Gallegos seconded the motion.

There being no further business, the meeting ended at 5:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Thompson
College Council Secretary

College Council Protocol
Guidelines for Members

Council members are asked to follow the following rules of etiquette:

  • Arrive to meetings on time.

  • Members unable to attend a meeting, or who will be late, should notify the Chair of College Council.

  • Members are not permitted to send a voting substitute.  Only elected faculty and Presidential administrative appointees have voting privileges.
    Raise your hand to be acknowledged by the Chair for comments, discussion, and questions at the table.

  • After 2 consecutive unexcused absences, members may be asked to discontinue as a  member of College Council so that a replacement can be found
    Agenda items must be submitted to the Chair the Friday prior to the Council meeting for distribution.

  • Members are asked to set their cell phones on vibrate.

Guidelines for Guests    

Guests are asked to abide by the following guidelines when interacting with Council: 

  • Guests are welcome at all meeting of College Council. 

  • Guests are asked to set their cell phones on vibrate. 

  • Council will discuss only agenda items for that meeting. Members of the College  Community with proposals or issues for Council should contact the Chair of Council no later than the Friday prior to the meeting in order to place items on the agenda for the next meeting. Any adjustments to the agenda are at the discretion of the chair.

  • The Initiator of a proposal must be in attendance to present the proposal and answer questions. In the absence of the Initiator, an appropriate designee can present the proposal.  

  • Guests are welcome to take a seat along the sides of the room. Those with proposals will be asked to join Council at the table when their proposal is being discussed.

  • Guests are asked to wait for acknowledgement by the Chair before presenting, making comments, or asking questions.

  • Guests are asked to limit the overview of their proposal to approximately 5 minutes.

  • Guests will be asked to “sign in” in order to be included in the minutes and have their names properly spelled.

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