Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

College Council Meeting Minutes October 26, 2006

October 26, 2006

Present  Absent         Guests 

Maryann Anderson
Mary Frances Archey         
Charles Blocksidge
Toni Carney
Gordon Crocker
Rod Farkas
Rita Gallegos
Joanne Jeffcoat
Diane Maldonado
Maura Stevenson
Cyndi Syskowski
Barbara Thompson
Allysen Todd
Stephen Wells

Joe Calig
John Dziak
Brian Johnson       






Tom Turich
Barry Noel
Fran Dice
Michelle Doas
Sulakshana Plumley
Steve Dodin
Cheryl Graham-Eason     


Gordon Crocker made a motion to approve the minutes of the October 12th, 2006 meeting of College Council. Cyndi Syskowski seconded the motion.  The minutes were approved as amended.


A.  Academic Planning
Joanne Jeffcoat reported that at the last meeting of the Academic Planning Subcommittee the Nursing Program Review was discussed as well as the 2008 calendar.

Program Review: Nursing
Michelle Doas was in attendance to present the Nursing Program Review. Joanne Jeffcoat distributed 2 items which Academic Planning had asked to be included as part of the program review. Those items are 2 letters from the National League for Nursing (NLN), which is the accrediting commission for the program. Mrs. Jeffcoat pointed out that the accreditation documents for most programs are very large and it is not feasible to make copies as part of the program review package. The accreditation report for the Nursing Program Review is on file with the Associate Dean of Nursing, Michelle Doas, and can be viewed in her office at South Campus, Room B 649.

Michelle Doas reported that there was a full site visit in 2004. At the time of the visit 60% to 70% of the adjunct faculty did not have a Master’s degree nor were they enrolled in a program.  This was an area of concern for the NLN. For past 9 months the department has been working to improve this percentage so that now only 10% of the faculty are not working toward their Master’s degree.

A focus report is due in March 2007 to address the educational level of faculty and to put forth a Systematic Program Plan for Evaluation (SPPE). The NLN wants a better picture of student achievement. If the report is accepted, the accreditation will be granted until 2012. If the Focus Report is not accepted, the program can be put on probation or another site visit can be scheduled.
Dr. Doas reported that the graduation rates have risen since the department is now doing selective admission. Selective admission requires students to have a QPA of 2.5 and pass the Nursing admissions test, which is a timed test of reading comprehension and math. Our graduation rate has risen to 78%. The national average is 85% to 88%.
Toni Carney made a motion to accept the program review. Diane Maldonado seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Proposed Academic Calendar 2008
Joanne Jeffcoat reported that the 2008 calendar has been the most controversial in many years; therefore the Subcommittee spent an extra meeting discussing it.

Fran Dice was in attendance to present the proposed calendar. She explained that the College is obligated to honor all legal holidays as well as those in the AFT and SEIU contracts.
For the Spring semester, 2008, we will have 1 ½ weeks between the Christmas holiday and the start of the Spring semester on January 14th, with the following Monday off for Martin Luther King Day. Ms Dice noted that the 13 week semester allows for a one day reading day so the final exam schedule aligns with the 15 week semester.

For the spring calendar, the placement of Easter dictates how the Spring break is handled.  If Easter comes more mid-semester, then a week at Easter is feasible.  However if Easter is late then students need a short earlier break with the end of Easter week off later. Easter falls early in the Spring semester 2008, therefore we will have the week of March 17th to 23rd off.

Summer calendars are the same as in past years. Four, six and ten-week calendars begin together. The 8-week calendar has been used mostly at North campus and is primarily to accommodate high school graduates. There is a 1-week break between the end of summer and fall.

Fall semester posed a larger problem. By State law, the College must run a 15-week calendar with a week of exams. There is just so much time between Labor Day and Christmas, Ms Dice commented. In the Fall semester it is difficult to have a full week’s break at Thanksgiving so late in the semester. Many faculty expressed a preference for a full week at Thanksgiving, but many also say they prefer a mid-semester break.

Diane Maldonado commented that decisions are made at the College without data.  Therefore the assessment committee asked some faculty to administer a simple student survey asking what kind of break students prefer. There were 833 students who participated. Students overwhelmingly prefer a break earlier in the semester, but a break one week in length.

Some faculty are concerned that students don’t return when there is a week long break at Thanksgiving, especially students in lower level classes. 

Gordon Crocker made a motion to accept the proposed calendar. Diane Maldonado seconded the motion and the motion passed 12 votes in favor and one opposed.

Toni Carney reported that the Subcommittee did not meet. The next meeting will be Nov 2nd when there will be a hearing on Patsy Williamson’s proposal on plagiarism.

Proposal: Revision of GGY, PHS and PHY Master Course Syllabi
Gordon Crocker introduced the proposal to revise the syllabi for geology, physical science and physics courses. Diane Maldonado presented the proposal and Steve Dodin and Sulakshana Plumley were available to address questions regarding the proposal. Most revisions dealt with measurable learning outcomes. The original proposals for PHY 113 and 114 requested an increase of 1 credit to 4 credits for each course, however there was strong opposition to that at the Curriculum Subcommittee meeting and the credits for both courses remain at 3.

Allysen Todd pointed out that there were several sentence fragments in the course descriptions. Maura Stevenson replied that the requirement of complete sentences needs to appear in the template that Council will be developing in the next few weeks. Diane Maldonado said that it is important that Council does not have different rules for different people.

Allysen Todd made a motion to accept the proposal. Toni Carney seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously           

Proposal: CIT Core Programs and Course Changes
Gordon Crocker presented the proposal and commented that the abstract is very clear. Tom Turich was in attendance to present the proposal. He explained that the intent of the proposal is to combine programs down to 2 by reducing the number of restricted electives. This will allow students to complete degrees more easily by eliminating electives that rarely run.

The proposal includes a new course, Computer Information Security. Barbara Thompson asked if this course duplicates anything in the Computer Forensic program that Council approved last Spring. Mr. Turich said that it did not.   

It was pointed out that CIT 641 on page 45 of the proposal is lacking a 1 lecture hour designation.

Allyson Todd noted that the narrative for the catalog lacks program objectives and job titles. Mary Frances Archey commented that last May was the deadline for the State mandate that jobs be listed. There are 175 Programs and it will take a couple of years for this to be accomplished. Maura Stevenson noted that there is nothing in Curriculum procedures that directs people to do this and that we cannot set a standard until a template is completed.

Rod Farkas made a motion to accept the proposal. Joanne Jeffcoat seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.         

Proposal: Deletion of CIT Certificate Programs
Mr. Turich explained that to understand the proposal we need to go back a year or 2 ago when the College established an agreement with Carnegie Mellon concerning this program. Unfortunately the program did not catch on. Charles Blocksidge asked why this was so. Mr. Turich said that 5 courses made up the program; 2 of which were similar to what we already offer. The upper level courses just didn’t run. The department would offer the sections and the enrollment wasn’t there, perhaps because the courses were too challenging. This program was useful in the 90’s but not now. The program is much more popular in India and Mexico.

The College paid a fee based upon usage and with the deletion of the program the contract will dissolve. The contract was with a subsidiary of Carnegie Mellon.

Page 11 of the proposal includes the discontinuance of the CIT Survivability and Information Assurance Certificate. The Program was the result of a grant with the National Guard as a collaboration between the College and CMU’s Software Engineering Institute. There is no longer support for the Program. Only 2 sessions ran, which ended in 2005. The National Guard took back the hardware and the grant program has dissolved.

Page 4 of the proposal requests the discontinuance of the CIT Cisco Network Associate Certificate. Mr. Turich explained that the Program had low enrollment. The Department can generally run the first and second courses in the certificate program, but not beyond that.  The department would like to keep the courses on the books but not the certificate program. Students can take courses as electives.

Barbara Thompson asked if the College lost money on these programs and was told, probably not. Gordon Crocker made a motion to accept the proposal. Cyndi Syskowski seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Proposal: Administrative Computer Specialist Certificate
Gordon Crocker explained that this proposal recommends a new certificate program which is based on a need in the community.

Mr. Turich explained that with the demise of AOP there is still a need for the skills, and to allow people in the field the ability to upgrade their skills. AOP courses will become CIT courses.  They are the same course just with new alpha codes.

Mr. Turich was asked what students are told when they come to the College wanting to be secretaries.  Mr. Turich replied that he advises them to go to a Business proprietary school. Those wanting to be administrative assistants would enroll in this certificate program.

Diane Maldonado questioned some of the topics that are listed as outcomes, as they are action oriented. For instance, CIT 141 topics should be where the outcomes are.

Pages 12 and 18 of the proposal list topics that need to be changed so they are nouns. Outcomes should be verbs based upon Blooms Taxonomy and topics should be nouns.

Maura Stevenson commented that once again we have not made that clear to Initiators.

Mary Frances Archey noted that the program on page 7 of the proposal is a Tech Prep option and there are no jobs titles listed according to Act 46. That language is on the website now. Tom will work with Diane Maldonado on the catalog description.

Rod Farkas moved to table the motion. Maura Stevenson seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Proposal: Deletion of AOP Courses
Tom Turich explained that this proposal recognizes that the AOP Program no longer exists. Some courses have been dropped and others have been retained. Those remaining will be changed to CIT alpha codes. The content remains; it is just the alpha code that has changed. Although the AOP Program has not been in existence for some time, the change of the alpha codes was delayed to allow students to complete their AOP program.

The course MDT 101 still has an AOP alpha code course mentioned in it but the catalog indicates that students can also qualify with a keyboarding speed.

Toni Carney made a motion to accept the proposal. Joanne Jeffcoat seconded the motion and the proposal passed unanimously.

Proposal: Changes to Tourism Management Curriculum (423.1)
Rita Gallegos made a motion to accept the proposal. Allysen Todd seconded the motion. Barbara Thompson pointed out that the Initiator or designee was not in attendance to present the proposal. Gordon Crocker made a motion to table the proposal. Toni Carney seconded the motion. The motion to table passed unanimously.

Proposal: New Course: Forensic Anthropology
Gordon Crocker explained that the proposal was for a course, not a program or certificate. He noted that Cheryl Graham-Eason, the Initiator was present as well as Barry Noel who would like to speak to the issue.

Cheryl Graham-Eason explained that this course is the result of a Program Review and faculty discussions that there was a need for more social science electives to give students more focus and more options.

The course lists ANT 101 as a recommended prerequisite.  It was noted that something is either a prerequisite or it is not. Ms Graham-Eason agreed that “recommended” could be eliminated as well as the human anatomy prerequisite. Therefore the prerequisite will be ANT 101 only. Ms Graham-Eason mentioned that she assigns a 6 page essay in this course. Barbara Thompson asked why that was not listed under the bottom Resources section. Ms Graham-Eason explained that it is her practice to assign a paper, however other faculty teaching the course may not want to do that.

Barry Noel spoke on behalf of the CJC program, and expressed some concerns. He noted that Criminal Justice is a social science elective and is offered on 3 campuses and will soon be offered at North Campus. He believes that students taking this proposed course should have some criminal justice background and offered CJC 205 as a prerequisite. Further the proposal lists the course as a North Campus course not a College-wide course.  Maura Stevenson agreed that all courses are College-wide courses and that should be changed. He further explained that the department had investigated a forensic concentration within the CJC Program and the faculty and the advisory board agreed that no job opportunities exist in Allegheny County, therefore it was recommended not to pursue this.

Mr. Noel outlined what he would like, should the course be passed by College Council. He outlined the following:

  • CJC 205 as a prerequisite
  • A disclaimer that the course does not satisfy the requirements for the CJC Program
  • Change the course from a North Campus course to one which is College-wide
  • The prerequisite will be ANT 101
  • Deletion of “blood splatter” from the list of topics

Ms Graham-Eason agreed to all requests except CJC 250 as a prerequisite.  She explained that it would change the intent of the course which is a theory course. Mr. Noel was satisfied with the remainder of the changes.

Rod Farkas made a motion to accept the proposal with changes recommended by Mr. Noel and agreed to by Cheryl Graham-Eason. Gordon Crocker seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.         

The Subcommittee did not meet


Review Procedures for Processing Proposals That Come to College Council or a Sub-Committee

Maryann Anderson said that there are many glitches in the procedures that we use and we need to establish uniformity and clarity that will be easily accessible to everyone in the College community. This will make the process much less intimidating.

Joanne Jeffcoat noted that Council and Subcommittee agendas are flexible so that if someone who is on the agenda is not there we skip over that part of the agenda and get back to it later. That needs to be understood and clearly stated. Maryann Anderson concurred that Subcommittee Chairs need to be very clear on the agendas and if an item is moved that everyone understands what is going on. 

Joanne Jeffcoat suggested that when agendas are sent out that it be reiterated that Initiators or a designee must be present when a proposal is presented.

Allysen Todd asked that as soon an item is placed on the agenda, that the agenda should be made known so that Initiators can make arrangements to attend.

Maryann Anderson noted that it is a Council procedure that when a proposal is presented to Council and is tabled, the proposal comes back to College Council when revised. However when a proposal is rejected, it must go back to the subcommittee

Maura Stevenson is working on templates of procedures. They are in draft form and will be presented to Council. Barbara Thompson suggested that they should appear early in the agenda so that Maura will be present.  

All Subcommittee chairs are asked to work on updating their Subcommittee descriptions and procedures that appear on the College website and bring them to Council. Barbara Thompson will be entering all minutes and descriptions on the website.

Barbara Thompson reported that she met with Debbie McClusky who explained to her the path that proposals take when they leave Council.  She suggested that it would be helpful for Council members to understand this process by inviting Ms McClusky and Fran Dice to attend a future meeting of Council. 


Mary Frances Archey asked the status of forms for hiring Counselors and Librarians. Barbara Thompson replied that she has gotten input from Librarians on the form and is working with Joanne Jeffcoat to get this finalized. Toni Carney met with Counselors and because Allegheny Campus intends to submit a request for a Counselor to Academic Planning, Allegheny Campus Counselors have been charged with developing the form.

Toni Carney asked who would submit a request for additional Counselors to Academic Planning. Dr. Archey said that Deans of Students would bring forth the request or any Counselor could do the same.

There being no further business, the meeting ended at 5:33 PM.

The next meeting of College Council will be Thursday Nov. 9th, 2006 in the College Office Board Room.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Thompson
College Council Secretary

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