Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

College Council Meeting Minutes December 11, 2008

DEC 11, 2008
College Office Board Room





Richard Allison
Maryann Anderson
Mary Frances Archey      
Gail Boyea
Toni Carney
John Dziak
Rita Gallegos
Carl Francolino
Charles Martoni 
Maura Stevenson
Barbara Thompson
Ping Wang
Stephen Wells 

Joyce Breckenridge    
Yvonne Burns
Donna Imhoff
Joanne Jeffcoat 

Don Breitbarth
Alice McKenna
Charles Noel
Mary Kate Quinlan
Jim Robertson
Tom Shaheen
Allysen Todd
Brenda Trettel  

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


Toni Carney made a motion to approve the minutes of the Nov. 13th, 2008 meeting of College Council.   Richard Allison seconded the motion.  The minutes were approved as amended.



Ping Wang reported on the items discussed at the last meeting. Jim Robertson reported on a distance learning progress report from Dwight Bishop. The report indicated a 12% increase in distance learning enrollment from last year, recognized a need for increased support, and the need for more robust servers to handle increased demand and provide redundancy.  More marketing is needed for Distance Learning courses to also include areas beyond this county. Mary Frances Archey commented that the request for servers goes into the IT budget not the academic budget.

Fran Dice is handling the possible implementation of SOSO, but was not able to attend the Subcommittee meeting. Mr. Wang said that although many courses are taught by tenured faculty, it would still be helpful for faculty to hear directly from students and use the student responses not for portfolios, but to improve teaching. A system to protect student anonymity is being devised.

Mary Kate Quinlan provided the Subcommittee with an update on assessment. She reported that classroom assessment has declined from Spring to Fall. There are fewer faculty who are opting to do this. She also reported that Program and Gen Ed assessments are on schedule. 

Jim Robertson reported on distance learning modality data. There is no evidence from the data that distance learning courses are cutting into non-distance learning courses.

He discussed a handout of statistics regarding distance learning for Fall 2008. In the Fall, there were 3,913 students taking distance learning courses; of those, 1,410 also attended classes on campus. Furthermore, 44% of distance learning students take only distance learning classes, 52% attend one campus in addition to distance learning, 4% attend 2 other campuses and .1% attend 3 campuses.


Proposal: Revision of SDS104 Common Course Syllabus 

Allysen Todd presented the proposal and informed Council that this one-credit course has not been revised since 1995 and is one in a series of SDS courses that needs to be updated. The course was originally designed for students in programs in which leadership skills were important. It is hoped that this course will be offered to Pittsburgh Promise students. The course description and learning outcomes were revised and 3 topics were added.

Rita Gallegos made a motion to accept the proposal. Gail Boyea seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Proposal: Revision of Criminal Justice Program 600.4, Tracks A,B, and C, and the removal of prerequisites on CJC152, CJC201, CJC204, CJC205, CJC209, and CJC211 common course syllabi

Brenda Trettel presented the proposal which removes the pre-requisite CJC 101, Introduction to Criminal Justice from many of the courses.  It is felt that students other than criminal justice students are interested in taking these courses and are hindered by having to also take a pre-requisite which is not a necessary enhancement to the course. They are stand alone courses and taking a pre-requisite does not lead to a better grade. Steve Wells asked why someone would ever need to take CJC 101, Introduction to Criminal Justice. Tom Shaheen explained that it is important for those who are trying to decide if they will go into the field.

Additionally PHL 103, Logic is removed as a requirement and substituted with either PHL 101, Introduction to Philosophy or a foreign language. Recruiters for criminal justice jobs are looking for candidates who can speak a foreign language, especially Spanish, even if it is only a few words. This gives students a huge advantage. 

Steve Wells made a motion to accept the proposal. Toni Carney seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Maura Stevenson said that the Subcommittee discussed experimental courses and Rich Betters is getting together a proposal which he will present at an upcoming meeting.


First Year Experience course, SDS 102 – Academic & Personal Development

Brenda Trettel presented the proposal. She explained that this is an Achieving the Dream (ATD) initiative. Any first year full-time student who tests in the lowest level of all three developmental areas will be required to take SDS 102.

Brenda Trettel detailed some of the history regarding this course.  When Dr. Flores was President every student was required to take this course, which was problematic, especially for programs that were at the maximum number of credits allowed by the State. The course then became optional and the course fell by the way side. ATD is looking at ways to help our at-risk students, and it is felt that the First Year Experience course will help those students.

The course has been revised and is designed for first time students. If a student fails the course or does not earn a 2.0 GPA, the student will have to repeat the course. If an eligible student does not take the course in the first semester but earns higher than a 2.0 GPA, they are exempt from taking the course. Students will be tracked through Datatel.

Other Community Colleges are using the first year experience course with great success including Paul D. Camp Community College, Moraine Valley and Valencia. Students in the 18 to 21 year age group tend to be the most vulnerable. They often require some hand holding and additional help. 

In the Fall semester there were 536 students who placed in the lowest levels of all developmental areas. The first-time full-time students totaled 384.  Allegheny would need 6 sections, North would need 2 sections, Boyce 3, South 4, Homewood 1 and West Hills 2. The course is open to anyone regardless of their GPA.

Pittsburgh Promise students will take SDS 102 during the first half of the first semester and a career planning course the second half.

Toni Carney commented that it is important that Advisors are fully informed about this course and who is required to take it.

Gail Boyea made a motion to accept the proposal. Carl Francolino seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Adding Another Academic Suspension Appeal Deadline

Allysen Todd presented the proposal which gives students an additional deadline during the summer in which to appeal academic suspension. Currently the Campus Appeal Committees meet mid-October, mid-March and mid-June to hear appeals. This would add an additional hearing date in mid-August. This will accommodate students who are suspended at the end of the Spring semester and miss the mid-June appeal date because Fall registration is weeks away. If they miss the appeal date, they must sit out 2 academic semesters. This involves a lot of students.  

Rita Gallegos made a motion to accept the proposal. Rick Allison seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.


Steve Wells reported that the Subcommittee didn’t meet and there are no program reviews on the horizon. The Subcommittee is beginning their work on the hiring process. They have the prioritized lists from all 4 Campuses and have received the justification forms from 2 Campuses. The Subcommittee will be meeting on January 29th as an executive meeting and will have the hearing on February 5th. The Subcommittee hiring recommendations will be brought to College Council on February 12th when Council will vote. 


There was no unfinished business.


Shared Governance Program Discontinuance Process

Maura Stevenson and Maryann Anderson questioned why the Horticulture Program was discontinued without going through the Governance process as is required by Program Review, Appendix E the Annual Program/Discipline Assessment process and Form C-2, Program Deletion which is part of the curriculum process.  They both agreed that they were surprised by the action which did not allow for a hearing and explanation to the College Community of the circumstances.

Mary Frances Archey said that it was a matter of timing. The Federation was notified early on because the Educational Technician in the Program was affected. Dr. Archey said the Program was discontinued because graduates were not able to get jobs that paid a livable wage. Maura Stevenson said that the spirit of the governance process and assessment was bypassed and that the College Community should not hear about the cancellation of a program by receiving an email and reading an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Brenda Trettel is in the process of filling out the Program cancellation forms to cancel the program after the fact. Mrs. Anderson urged Dr. Archey that the shared governance process be followed in the future.

Final due date for Spring proposals

Maryann Anderson asked all Subcommittees to get out information to the College Community regarding the final hearing dates for proposals.

April 3rd - the final date to send out the notice of proposals to the College Community April 16th - the final Subcommittee meeting for hearings on proposals

May 7th – the final meeting of College Council

Steve Wells reported that someone at a South Campus meeting suggested that College Council rotate among the campuses or do conference calls for meetings.

There being no further business, the meeting ended at 4:40 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Thompson
College Council Secretary

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