Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

College Council Meeting Minutes September 22, 2005

COLLEGE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
SEPTEMBER 22, 2005
COLLEGE OFFICE BOARD ROOM

ATTENDANCE                                                                      

Present                             

Absent                           

Guests                   

Nicholas Akinkuoye
Maryann Anderson
Mary Frances Archey
Charles Blocksidge
Toni Taylor Carney
Gordon Crocker
Pearley Cunningham
John Dziak
Rita Gallegos
Joanne Jeffcoat
Rhonda Sansone
Maura Stevenson
Cyndi Syskowski
Barbara Thompson
Wendy Weiner

John Glenn
Brian Johnson

Diane Maldonado

Gordon Crocker, College Council Chair, called the meeting to order at 2:32 PM. He then asked the 3 members who were absent at the last meeting to introduce themselves.  

AGENDA ITEM I: APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE SEPTEMBER 8TH MEETING

Rita Gallegos made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 8th, 2005 meeting of College Council.  Pearley Cunningham seconded the motion.  The minutes were approved as presented.

AGENDA ITEM II: PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION REGARDING ASSESSMENT BY DR. DIANE MALDONADO

Mr. Crocker introduced Dr. Diane Maldonado to discuss assessment. Dr. Maldonado has made many presentations on assessment at the campuses; therefore she highlighted areas that are relevant to College Council.

Dr. Maldonado explained that the College did not meet Standards 7 and 14 of Middle States, therefore must addresses assessment issues. This warning is so serious that Middle States representatives will return in November and again in April 2006, and are expecting a report on our progress in the areas of institutional assessment and student learning.

To address this problem, Jim Holmberg assembled a group called the Assessment of Student Learning Committee which is chaired by Diane Maldonado. Members of the committee include those representing the union, faculty and administration. Faculty members will serve for one year and then will be elected. 

The Committee has been functioning since this summer and presented their first report to Dr. Weiner in July. Proposals from the Committee will be presented to College Council as appropriate and the Committee itself may become part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Dr. Maldonado explained that the College has been collecting assessments of student learning for quite some time, but has not been analyzing the data and acting upon it. The Committee is attempting to establish definitions of common terms used in assessment so that when they are used, everyone has the same understanding. In the self study there were varied responses in the survey to “What is assessment?”.

The Committee is working on defining and planning assessment, doing an assessment audit to determine what we have already collected and educating faculty on the process. The Committee will be working to develop a process to assess student learning, to gather assessment data, analyze it and use it to improve the learning process.

Dr. Maldonado asked for Council’s help in establishing definitions.  Pearley Cunningham, as Curriculum Chair, volunteered to assist with this.  As proposals are completed they will be presented to either Academic Standards and Student Affairs or to Curriculum.

Information about the Assessment of Student Learning Committee can be found at http://www.ccac.edu/assessment.

AGENDA ITEM III: SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

Mr. Crocker asked how subcommittees are doing recruiting faculty members to serve. Subcommittees are making progress but are still not fully staffed.

A.  RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Distance learning and VCR courses:

Maura Stevenson reported that PBS is discontinuing their service of providing video tapes which is causing problems in most disciplines. Dr. Jeanette Blackston and Brenda Trettle are working to convert some video courses to internet courses. Closed captioned courses will be retained as VCR courses. Some faculty members were misinformed that the College is doing away with distance education courses. Maura Stevenson will include the letter from Dr. Blackston that concerns this with the Subcommittee minutes so that any rumors will be quelled.

No faculty members have been recruited. Dr. Stevenson will send out another email and ask the union VP’s for assistance.  

B.  ACADEMIC PLANNING
Joanne Jeffcoat reported that the outside assessment of the Math Program has been completed, so all requirements for the Program Review have been met. Council requested that the Math external review be attached to the minutes of this meeting.

Mrs. Jeffcoat reported difficulty recruiting faculty also.

C.  ACADEMIC STANDARDS AND STUDENT AFFAIRS
Toni Carney reported that she had 5 responses for faculty members and there is representation from every campus

D.   CURRICULUM
Pearley Cunningham reported that there are proposals which will be presented at the first Subcommittee meeting on Oct 6th The meeting will be held at South Campus, but normally the Subcommittee meets at College Office. The Subcommittee needs 2 more faculty members and there is no representation from North Campus. John Dziak clarified that a full time temp for an entire academic year can serve on Subcommittees.

Mr. Crocker again stressed that meeting agendas should be emailed to everyone at least 2 working days before the meeting and that emails must be sent 5 working days before any hearing.

AGENDA ITEM IV: NEW BUSINESS

The Deans have been sent the list of Program Reviews that were not completed. Deans were to comment on the list. Most, but not everyone has responded, therefore the subject is still open.

Council discussed the issue of campus newspapers. College administrators have suggested that there will be one common student newspaper, although Wendy Weiner stated that it is not yet a mandate. The College wants to survey students to get their input Council agreed that this should come as a proposal to Academic Standards and Student Affairs, and Gordon Crocker volunteered to discuss this with Renee Clark. Apparently Allegheny, Boyce and South are still publishing.

The next meeting of College Council will be Thursday October 13th at 2:30 PM in the College Office Board Room.

There being no further business, the meeting ended at 3:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Thompson
College Council Secretary                                   

Addendum: Math Program Review
External Evaluation

September 24, 2005
Dr. Allysen Todd, Academic Dean
Community College of Allegheny County
Dear Dean Todd,

            Thank you for sharing with me the CCAC Program of Mathematics Review.  My conclusion is that the CCAC has a good mathematics program with several options for improvement.  My evaluation of the CCAC Mathematics Program is summarized below.

Strengths

The CCAC Mathematics Program provides an affordable and accessible opportunity to complete the first two years of a four-year baccalaureate degree at many four-year institutions.  The Program also supports the community and the needs of local industry providing basic mathematics training. These services are provided with tutorial activities and programs, and the appropriate use of technology.  An effort to identify student employment opportunities and salaries is also mentioned (and well documented).

Weaknesses

Course syllabi are updated “selectively” in periods of five years. Even if this practice is working well, the report does not mention what kind of activities are in effect to review and assure that every instructor is covering the full content of the course at the appropriate level. The report also fails to mention what are the minimal academic credentials from part of the instructor to teach a course.

Recommendations

1. Review course syllabi more frequently including external reviews whenever possible.

2. Review instructor’s syllabi and exams to verify appropriate course deliberation.

3. Specify and enforce appropriate instructor’s academic credentials for every course.

4. Implement periodic peer teaching reviews.

5. Maintain students teaching evaluations.

6. Implement internal guidelines to support teaching such as: students’ attendance, class size, final exams, textbooks selection, etc.         

7. Intensify graduates surveys including the performance of the CCAC students that continue their studies at four-year institutions.

8. Keep demanding outstanding academic credentials for the position of mathematics department chair. So curriculum content and academic standards are developed, promoted and maintained by disciplinary experts

Sincerely,
Javier Gomez-Calderon Ph.D.
Professor of Mathematic/
Mathematics Division Head
University College
Penn State University