Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

College Council Meeting Minutes October 10, 2013

October 10, 2013
Office of College Services Board Room





Richard Allison
Maryann Anderson
Mary Frances Archey
Elizabeth Claytor
John Dziak
Carl Francolino
Rita Gallegos
Shirley Harr
Donna Imhoff
Evelyn Kitchens-Stephens
Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki
Audrey Rosenthal
Justin Tatar
Barbara Thompson
Marianne Trale
Stephen Wells 

Vicki Rostis

Lucille Adkins
Yvonne Burns
Frances Dice
Mercy Faust
Deb Gabor
Kelli Maxwell
Matt Minczeski

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


Audrey Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes of the August 22, 2013 meeting of College Council.  Donna Imhoff seconded the motion and the minutes were approved as amended. 

Council members then participated in a group photograph for the College Council website.



Proposal: Web Advising for Students at a Distance
Evelyn Kitchens-Stephens introduced the proposal on Web Advising for Students at a Distance. The proposal was passed unanimously by the Subcommittee at their last meeting.   

Lucile Atkins presented the proposal which provides for web advising for students living more than 50 miles from the College. As advising is required for all new students, those living at a distance have been at a disadvantage. This proposal enhances the services provided to those students to improve their success rate and retention.

The new system requires students to download LYNC software onto their computers. This process does not alter the student’s computer and takes a matter of seconds.

Debbie Gabor conducted a real-time demonstration explaining that an actual advising session would take approximately 30 minutes. Bob Russo role-played the student from another site so that Council could view a realistic use of the system. In order to initiate the process, a student logs into Appointment Central and sets an appointment. This must be done 48 hours in advance of the anticipated session, and the student must have a web cam. A secretary reviews the appointment request to determine if the student meets the eligibility requirements of living at least 50 miles from the College or having exceptional circumstances to qualify for web advising. The secretary contacts the student, gives the student a link for the LYNC download and the secretary and student do a test run. The student must have a PC. Access through tablets is not yet possible, and Mac access is unreliable. If there are problems with the download of the software, IT gets involved to debug the problems. At no time is the student's computer altered.

The student is then able to receive advising with an advisor specially trained in the process. Students provide identification by holding up a picture ID and verifying their contact information. Students can pose financial aid questions, and discuss previous education and their plans for the future. Shirley Harr questioned whether an electronic signature is possible and it was verified that it is.

Some exceptions to the 50 mile rule include those with physical disabilities, veterans or those who may be incarcerated.

Evelyn Kitchens-Stephens moved to accept the proposal. Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.


Carl Francolino reported that the Subcommittee met September 19th and October 3rd. At the September meeting, there was a special guest, a sales manager for Blackboard, who discussed how Blackboard could be leveraged to be a more comprehensive service provider.

For the October meeting, the Subcommittee met at the K. Leroy Irvis Building on Allegheny Campus to view the new technology built into the classrooms. The members of the Subcommittee were impressed with the more advanced tools than the typical environment. John Dziak said there are compatibility problems, and problems with how the technology operates. Many faculty members anticipated the problems, but equipment was ordered despite these objections. Mr. Dziak detailed other problems such as if a user does not turn the equipment off properly, the next user cannot turn it on. He added that the new projectors and document cameras do not have the visual quality that regular projectors have. There are also a number of outlets that don't work, and there have been problems with outlets melting.

Dwight Bishop discussed Blackboard upgrades with the Subcommittee, and their impact on the semester. The upgrades are becoming longer and less manageable. Mr. Francolino also reported that they are hoping to have some assessment reports to review.


Rita Gallegos reported that the Curriculum Subcommittee met Oct 3rd. There are five proposals forthcoming.


Steve Wells reported that Academic Planning met October 3rd and discussed the hiring process. The hiring forms were sent to the Deans on October 9th. The time table for the hiring process will be about the same as last year. Even though there is a hiring freeze, it is important to go through the process. He added that replacements for retirees can be requested as long as the faculty member has submitted a letter of resignation.

Dr. Wells commented that we are running a negative hiring balance again this year. There were 21 positions approved last year. Of those, 19 positions have been filled, but we lost 25 faculty members.  

There are also changes to the academic calendar which Fran Dice will present at the next meeting. 


There was no unfinished business.


Procedures for Subcommittee Minutes
Mercedes Faust addressed Council and volunteered to publish the minutes of the Subcommittee meetings after they have been approved and distributed to the College Community. Barbara Thompson will continue to publish the College Council minutes. The Subcommittee secretaries were very grateful for all of the help from Mercedes Faust.

Program Review Responses for the Program Reviews that were advanced through College Council during the Spring 2013 semester.
Mary Frances Archey distributed a report on the program review responses from the Spring 2013 semester. There were a total of 121 recommendations from 12 academic reports and 1 from a Student Development Program Review. Each faculty member who participated in the program review process as well as each administrator was sent an email regarding their set of responses. The majority of the responses involved working with the coordinating dean.

Course Outlines
Rick Allison noted that it has been seven years since there have been changes to the course outline template and the course outline preparation guide. Dr Allison pointed out that the forms are not user-friendly; there is no spell check, and there are statements that should disappear but show up in final document such as, "This should be a complete sentence." He recommends that the academic community be surveyed for suggestions for improvement, and that a working group be formed that would report to the Curriculum Subcommittee on improvements to the template and guide.

Rick Allison moved that the Curriculum Subcommittee be charged with establishing and overseeing a working group to review and revise the course outline template, the course outline preparation guide and the credit course syllabus form. Carl Francolino seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.  Curriculum should email a request that teaching faculty and academic administrators serve on this group.

President's Council
Maryann Anderson reported that President's Council met September 16th and discussed the fees for badges for monitoring radiation for allied health programs.

College wide Council met at North Campus on September 30th to look at strategic plans for the College.

President’s Council looked at course enrollment as presented in ARC. The ARC data is color coded, and it is possible to get a quick snap shot of whether a specific course should run or not. This is especially important for schedule building during times of low enrollment. This will be shared with Department Heads.

The next meeting of College Council will be October 24th.

There being no further business, the meeting ended at 4:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Thompson
College Council Secretary