Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

College Council Meeting Minutes March 23, 2006

March 23, 2006
College Office Board Room

Present   Absent                     Guests                  

Nicholas Akinkuoye
Maryann Anderson
Mary Frances Archey            
Charles Blocksidge
Toni Taylor Carney
Gordon Crocker
Pearley Cunningham
Rita Gallegos
Joanne Jeffcoat
Maura Stevenson
Cyndi Syskowski
Barbara Thompson
Allysen Todd

John Dziak
Brian Johnson
Rhonda Sansone          
Wendy Weiner        

Rebecca Harmon          
Lynn Gigandet

Gordon Crocker, College Council Chair, called the meeting to order at 2:40 PM. 


Rita Gallegos made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 23rd, 2006 meeting of College Council.  Toni Carney seconded the motion.  The minutes were approved as presented. 


A.  Curriculum Subcommittee  

Surgical Technology Program (degree)
Rebecca Harmon presented the proposal which changes Surgical Technology 1 (SUR 110) from 4 credits to 5 credits. The course formerly was 4 lectures hours with 2 hours of optional lab per week.  The change would increase the credits to 5 and would be 4 hours of lecture with 1 hour of mandatory lab.  

Making the lab mandatory was required by their accrediting body. A mandatory lab is necessary because faculty are seeing more students with greater challenges.  A mandatory lab insures that students are more competent to perform in the workplace.

Mary Frances Archey asked why the number of credit hours had to increase from 4 to 5 to make the lab mandatory. Dr. Archey expressed a concern about “credit creep.”  Gordon Crocker commented that this could end up as a 3 year program. He noted that the 2nd semester has 19 credits which is a substantial load.

Pearley Cunningham made a motion to accept the proposal. Nicholas Akinkuoye seconded the motion.

Barbara Thompson moved to table the motion so that someone from the department could be available to address the concerns about increasing the number of credits from 67 to 69 for this program. Maura Stevenson seconded the motion. The motion to table passed with 8 votes to table, 3 votes opposed, and 1 abstention.

Surgical Technology Program (certificate)
Rebecca Harmon presented this proposal as well. This program met with the same objections regarding the increased credit load as with the degree program.

Nicholas Akinkuoye made a motion to accept the proposal. Pearley Cunningham seconded the motion.  

Mary Frances Archey made a motion to table the proposal. Cyndi Syskowski seconded the motion. The motion to table passed with 8 votes to table, 3 votes opposed, and 1 abstention.

Toni Carney asked that when we discuss proposals, that the proposals be the corrected copies. Mrs. Carney also asked that the words “new” and “old” be put in the upper right hand corners of proposals to distinguish them.

DMS (Diagnostic Medical Sonography) Certificate Program
Pearley Cunningham presented the proposal with Lynn Gigandet present to answer any questions. The proposed changes are a result of requirements by the accrediting body. Corrections include adding Medical Terminology as a prerequisite (ALH 140) and adding Basic Physics as a prerequisite (PHY 100). There were additional grammatical corrections on the outcomes that appear on page 11 of the proposal. If approved, the implementation date would be Fall 2007. 

Most students in this program have advanced standing.  Usually they have a degree, are working and are looking for advancement within the hospital.

Maura Stevenson made a motion to accept the proposal. Cyndi Syskowski seconded the motion and the motion passed with 11 votes in favor of the proposal and 1 abstention.

Revision to the Prerequisites of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program affecting the first semester in the program
The proposal adds Medical Terminology as a prerequisite, adds ethics and legal issues to DMS 102 and changes the course title of DMS 102. If passed the proposal would be implemented Fall 2007.

Mr. Crocker pointed out that there was an objection to the proposal which drops the fitness elective in the second semester. Rebecca Harmon explained that this was done to keep the number of credits under control. Accreditors felt that this was not an essential part of the program and pressured the department to omit it.

Toni Carney made a motion to accept the proposal. Maryann Anderson seconded the motion and the motion passed with 11 votes in favor and 1 abstention.

DMS Vascular Sonography Distance Learning Courses
Pearley Cunningham commented that the name of the proposal has been changed to remove the words “Distance Learning.” Additionally the sentence, “These courses may be offered as distance learning courses” has been removed. Courses are to be approved according to their content and merit and not include a designation as to the method in which they may or may not be taught.

Rebecca Harmon offered the information that the courses were created as new cross training for registered sonographers and as electives for currently enrolled students. Vascular sonography is being used more and more for diagnostic purposes. These courses will allow those completing the courses to sit for certification exams in vascular sonography. Some insurance providers require that sonographers be certified in order to reimburse.

Pearley Cunningham made a motion to accept the proposal.  Joanne Jeffcoat seconded the motion and the motion passed 11 votes in favor of the proposal, with 1 abstention.

Computer Forensics Technology Certificate Program revisited re felony statement
Proposed statement: “Third Semester (Students with a felony conviction will be denied continuation in the program.”)

This program was approved at the January 26, 2006 meeting pending an opinion from a College attorney that preventing students with a felony conviction from continuing in the program was legal. The following is the legal opinion that Council received.

Lawyer’s Comment: “Our research did not produce a definitive answer. My best judgment is to error [sic] on the side of being proactive and protective. If the Program information may potentially be misused in any harmful manner then I believe reasonable precautions and prerequisites may be implemented including denying admission to students with various levels of criminal convictions. Where to draw that specific line may need to be evaluated separately.”

The Consensus of Council members was to leave the restriction in as stated. The program will be advanced to Dr. Sutin.

There was concern expressed that we might be punishing a felon who has rehabilitated. There are ways to expunge a felony and students can utilize the College appeal process. 

B.  Research and Development Subcommittee

Distance Learning Working Group Report
Maura Stevenson reported that Brenda Trettel met with the Subcommittee to update them on the work regarding distance learning guidelines. The question is still being debated whether students on probation or suspension should be permitted to take distance learning courses. The general recommendation is that rather than have a firm policy, each student’s request should be handled on an individual basis. Advisors should not handle distance learning courses differently, but should address with these students that distance learning courses are not easier than traditional courses as some may be under that misconception. The Distance Learning Working Group is also gathering information regarding a distance learning pre screening or a prep course to ensure that students have keyboarding, internet and Blackboard skills prior to enrolling in a distance learning course. The draft of the Faculty Process for Teaching Distance Learning courses is being reviewed by the AFT.

Institutional Assessment Update
Kevin Smay attended the meeting to report that April 1st is the deadline when the reports from the Assessment of Student Learning and the Institutional Assessment are to come together in one report. It will then be sent to John Erickson, Deputy Director of the Commission of Higher Education to review for suggestions. 

C.  Academic Standards and Student Affairs Subcommittee

Suspension Policy Update
There will be a hearing on April 6th on changes in the suspension policy. Most of the changes involve a clean up of the language, updating titles of Deans and removing some redundancy. Allysen Todd expressed concern that the proposal was not reviewed by the Deans because the policy impacts their area directly. It would have been a much appreciated collegial gesture. She was relieved that there were no substantial changes. Dr. Archey commented that she did not know that the policy was being revised again. There is an area of the policy that she would like to have addressed.  There is a discrepancy in the treatment of students depending upon what term the student may experience academic difficulty. This needs to be reviewed.

Inclusion of e-mail policy in Student Handbook
The existing email policy should be included in the student handbook, but as yet there is no proposal forthcoming. Toni Carney commented that she has found language in the student handbook that has not been agreed to by Academic Standards. She does not know who added or altered the language

D.   Academic Planning Subcommittee 

Joanne Jeffcoat reported that the Subcommittee has not met.


Barbara Thompson delivered a presentation on the College Council presence on the College Website. The College Council pages are difficult to find. They are on the AFT pages, and although College Council is formed, defined and addressed in the Collective Bargaining agreement, it is not an AFT Committee. The consensus of Council members is that College Council should have their own set of pages and someone should have the ability to create and update pages. Because of staff turn over in IT, it is unclear who has any authority to do anything on the website. Gordon Crocker will take this issue to Dr. Sutin to determine how the website can be modified. A major problem exists with the validity of some documents on the College website. Documents that have been approved by Council have been altered after Council has approved them so that a new version is posted on the web. Mr. Crocker will discuss this with Dr. Sutin also.


President’s Council has been revived and will include AFT Vice Presidents plus John Dziak. President’s Council met March10th and March 17th and the intention is to have biweekly meetings. Topics discussed included campus based leadership, matrix management, the budget and class enrollment strategy. Mr. Crocker said the meetings were excellent. Future meetings are scheduled for April 7th, April 20th, May 5th, June 2nd, July 7th, and Aug. 4th. All meetings are from 2:00 PM -3:30 PM in Dr. Sutin’s board room.


There was no new business.

There being no further business, the meeting ended at 4:55 PM.

The next scheduled meeting of College Council is Thursday April 27, 2006 at 2:30 PM in the Board Room of College Office

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Thompson
College Council Secretary