Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

College Council Meeting Minutes March 25, 2010

March 25, 2010
Office Of College Services Board Room





Richard Allison
Maryann Anderson
Mary Frances Archey
Yvonne Burns
Toni Carney
John Dziak
Carl Francolino
Rita Gallegos
Donna Imhoff
Joanne Jeffcoat
Rachel Matheis
Charles Martoni
Maura Stevenson
Stephen Wells 

Joyce Breckenridge
Mary Ellen Driver
Barbara Thompson

JoAnn Hunter
Donald Jukes
Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki
Charles Poetain
Mary Kate Quinlan
Betsy Rozen
Judith Savolskis
Brenda Trettel


Maryann Anderson, College Council Chair, called the meeting to order at 2:30 PM.  Mrs. Anderson thanked Toni Carney and Rita Gallegos for agreeing to record the minutes in the absence of Barbara Thompson.


Joanne Jeffcoat made a motion to approve the minutes of the March 11, 2010 meeting of College Council.  Carl Froncolino seconded the motion.  The minutes were approved as amended.



Carl Francolino reported that the subcommittee did not meet on March 18 but there are a series of meetings scheduled after the spring break.  Upcoming meetings are anticipated among the Director of Distance Learning, the IT staff,  and the Department Heads of Library and Learning Services to develop a bundle of information commons, such as live chat and blogs, for the libraries. Also, a meeting with the Director of Distance Learning and library staff will provide an opportunity to plan and identify milestones for a media-rich course suitable for distance learning.  If one or both of these meetings occur before the next College Council meeting Carl will report the progress.


Proposal:  Deletion of the Banking Management program (213) and its associated courses
Maura Stevenson and Brenda Trettel explained that this program hasn’t had any graduates from 2005-2009 and there hasn’t been any student interest.  Brenda Trettel  stated that this program is no longer in our catalog but Fran Dice still had it as an active program.  The business discipline faculty felt this program and its courses should be removed.  

Steve Wells made a motion to approve the proposal.  Joanne Jeffcoat seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Proposal:  Delete CHM 214, Nuclear and Radiochemistry
Maura Stevenson and Brenda Trettel explained that this proposal deletes the CHM 214, Nuclear and Radiochemistry course from the catalog since the course was deleted from the Nuclear Medicine program in April 2009.  Toni Carney inquired if there are any students who might need this course to graduate and it was stated that there are none. 

Donna Imhoff made a motion to approve the proposal. Yvonne Burns seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Proposal:  MAT course changes
Charles Poetain explained that MAT 252 was a course for engineering, science, and mathematics majors that has become problematic when transferring.  Other institutions have split the course into two.  This proposal will delete MAT 252 (Differential Equations With Linear Algebra), edit and reactivate MAT 253 (Linear Algebra), and create a new course in Differential Equations, MAT 251. By having two separate courses, transferability will be easier for our students.  Charles Poetain also stated that he was unable to find a course outline for MAT 253 since it hadn’t been offered for so many years.   Eugene Zizka who teaches physics expressed his appreciation of this proposal.  Rick Allison questioned listing a specific textbook in the course materials section of the common course syllabi since full time faculty can select their own textbooks.  It was agreed to change the wording to “an instructor adopted textbook and materials.” 

Toni Carney made a motion to approve the amended proposal. Rita Gallegos seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Proposal:  Revisions to Tourism Management (423.2)
Joanne Hunter explained that the Tourism Management program was updated according to the recommendations from their Advisory Board.  Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki stated that seven classes were eliminated due to low enrollment—they hadn’t run in years.  She stated that course substitutions have been made in lieu of those classes.  These deleted courses will be replaced with more transferable classes. 

Carl Francolino made a motion to approve the proposal. Toni Carney seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Proposal:  Electrical Construction (JATC/IBEW) Technology Proposal
Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki explained that the learning outcomes of the syllabi in this program were‘bloomed’ and no substantive content changes were made.  Betsy Rozen stated that they received 400 applicants for this year’s program and that last year they accepted 70 students into the program but didn’t know how many would be accepted for the upcoming year. 

Richard Allison made a motion to approve the proposal. Donna Imhoff seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Maura Stevenson stated that there will be three proposals from Jane Coughanour at the next College Council meeting on April 8, 2010.  So far, five new proposals have been submitted for the next Curriculum meeting on April 15th.


Proposal:  Psychology
Joanne Jeffcoat reported that the Psychology program review was in order, complete and well done.  The size of the report (154 pages) was largely due to Appendix H which is cumbersome and requires an extensive amount of effort.  Ann Louise Dailey was praised for her editing of the document and her guidance throughout the process. 

Steve Wells reported that although Appendix H was time-consuming, it was a valuable part of the process as relayed by Dr. Dailey.  Dr. Wells also extended a thank you to Christine Dagg who typed the Psychology program review and formatted Appehndix H within the report.

Brenda Trettel reported that the Advisory Board felt the program review was done very well on all levels.  Donna Imhoff added that the Psychology Advisory Board is a very strong and interested Advisory Board.  Membership includes representatives from several four year institutions which allows our courses to be as competitive as the four year institution’s offerings.  The Advisory Board was impressed with the availability and volume of data used to support statements made in the review.

Ms. Jeffcoat highlighted the recommendations made by the review.  Although space is adequate, additional full time faculty would be a positive addition to the discipline/program.  Additional copiers, printers and supplies for faculty use would be helpful.

Rachel Matheis moved to accept the review.  Stephen Wells seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

Program/Discipline Review:  Recommendations to Improve the Program Review Process
Joanne Jeffcoat noted the irony of this proposal being heard on the same day as the Psychology Program Review with its 61-page Appendix H.  The proposal to modify Appendix H in the program review process was initiated by Mary Kate Quinlan after review of the Program Review Process by the Assessment Advisory Group and the Vice President for Learning and Student Development.

Although simplifying Appendix H was the most welcome change, other areas of the Program Review process were modified to include:

1.    Changing the deadline for responding to Program Review recommendations to improve alignment with planning and budgeting processes

2.    Revising titles to accurately reflect the current organizational structure

3.    Correcting grammatical errors on Appendix I

The proposal specifically recommends a way to reduce the amount of work required for matching course learning outcomes to General Education Goals (Appendix H).  By identifying one course within the department/discipline for each of the six General Education goals that provides the best opportunity for achieving that goal, the reporting will be limited to no more than 6 courses from that department/discipline instead of the requirement of assessing every course from the department/discipline.

Identifying the specific date of August 1 as the deadline for the Vice President for Learning and Student Development to respond to the coordinating deans with actions related to each institutional recommendation allows for better alignment with the planning and budgeting processes.

Revising titles to accurately reflect the current organization structure involves replacing:

1.     Sr. VP for Academic Affairs to VP for Learning and Student Development

2.    Campus Sr. VP to Campus President

Minor grammatical changes were also proposed in two places of Appendix I.

Ms. Quinlan explained that the information contained in Appendix H can be uploaded into TRAC DAT.  The General Education Goals are already built into TRAC DAT; therefore, each Program Review can be analyzed and matched through this system.  This process will provide valuable data quickly, especially for Middle States reporting purposes.

Ms. Quinlan thanked and recognized the member of the Assessment Advisory Group for their hard work:

Allegheny                     Boyce                           North                           South              

Bob Kmetz                   Rick Allison                   Anna DelVitto               Lenore Hiller

Maura Stevenson         Jason McClain               Mary Lou Kennedy       Brenda Trettel

Allysen Todd                Sulakshana Plumley     Sue McCleary               Monica Washington

Faculty on the advisory group volunteered to test the new process in Appendix H.  Maura Stevenson confirmed that they sought to find a meaningful process without the volume of work and paper successfully.

Maryann Anderson expressed her appreciation for simplifying Appendix H.  The revision was much needed because Appendix H was a dreaded, but valuable, exercise for Program Review.

Joanne Jeffcoat moved to accept the proposal.  Carl Francolino seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Jeffcoat is anticipating three Program Reviews for her next meeting on April 15:  MLT, MLA, and Chemistry.


Proposal:  CCAC Prior Learning Assessment Process
Toni Carney introduced the proposal and invited Judy Savolskis to present the CCAC Prior Learning Assessment Process proposal.

Mrs. Savolskis explained that CCAC is one of the colleges in the Pennsylvania PLA Consortium.  This is a group of higher education institutions that have agreed to abide by, fully implement, and oversee the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) General Guidelines developed by the Department of Education with cooperation from over 30 higher education institutions, non-profit groups, and the Department of Labor and Industry.

The Department of Education believes that learning, regardless of where it takes place, should be recognized.  Assessment of learning activity is an important component, and  Middle State accepts PLA as outlined in the PLA General Guidelines.

Mrs. Savolskis sat on the Statewide Committee to write the regulations for the statewide guidelines for PLA.  She introduced the anticipated arrival of the PLA Consortium at the CCAC All-College Day in August, 2008.  Although the initiative was not readily acted upon, faculty was brought together at a later time to design training for portfolio review.  From those efforts it was mandated that a faculty member from each campus (4) would be part of the PLA review team.  Since each faculty would need to be compensated it was deemed cost prohibitive for the student.  Thus, the initiative was dropped.

Ms. Savolskis stated that PLA does not necessarily mean a one-for-one course exchange and it is not meant for all courses.  Only those courses in the Technologies and Trades would be developed.  Workforce training is designed to provide flexibility and responsiveness to marketplace demands.

Examples of current PLA practices at CCAC include the awarding of credit/advance standing for LPN’s, graduates of the Police Academy, and automotive certification.  In addition, we have several articulation agreements with other schools as well as CTE agreements.

After lengthy discussion it was determined that three issues needed to be addressed:

1.    An assurance that PLA would be contained to technical programs;

2.    Review of contractual language regarding qualifications of faculty;

3.    Clarification of the review/approval page to make it more specific for departmental faculty approval.

Richard Allison moved to table the proposal.  Carl Francolino seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Savolskis agreed to collaborate with Steve Wells and John Dziak to resolve the sticking points.  She will return to Council on April 8.

Toni Carney reported that there is only one proposal scheduled for the next meeting.  The proposal from Richard Allison will be heard at the April 15 meeting and concerns the updating of the reporting structure for student complaints.  There may be as many as three more proposals in the pipeline but the deadline date (April 8) for publication is fast approaching.


There was no unfinished business.


Hill Group Study Report
Charles Blocksidge explained that in November 2008 Dr. Alex Johnson and Dan Onorato met and wanted to better understand regional emerging industries, related workforce needs of those industries, and opportunities for CCAC and the Workforce alliance to aid in their fulfillment; thus, an advisory board was created after this meeting.  The Hill Group interviewed 83 businesses and perused many statistics and the outcome was that healthcare, financial service and energy were the most prevalent industries in our region.  They discovered that all of these industries needed certain skill sets, such as information technology.  The common thread among these industries is that jobs that are available require many educational skill sets and it will be CCAC giving these students the academic background needed for these jobs.  He stated that the jobs of the future are more challenging and are going to require higher standards.   Maryann Anderson asked about the outlook for these programs and Dr. Charles Blocksidge is hopeful that we will be able to blend these needed skill sets and thus eliminate/adjust some of our programs currently being offered.

Dr. Blocksidge stated that our next step, which Kevin Smay is working on, is to develop an operations model to formalize the process and allow for the realization of further efficiencies in program development and course design processes.  This model will allow for feedback from the students and the firms where they hope to acquire employment.  This model needs to identify both current and future industry needs, evaluate the ability of CCAC’s programs to fulfill these needs, and to implement any modifications to current programs to fill in any identified gaps.  In order to fill in these gaps CCAC may add/delete courses to programs as needed.  Dr. Blocksidge gave an example that we might add a course for accountants that teaches them hospital nomenclature so they can be employed in the healthcare industry.

Dr.Blocksidge reiterated that employers don’t want to waste time/money training employees and want to hire people who have the skill sets needed.

There being no further business, Carl Francolino motioned to adjourn and Donna Imhoff seconded the motion.   The meeting was adjourned at 5:15pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Toni Taylor Carney
Rita Gallegos
For College Council Secretary