Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

College Council Meeting Minutes March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012
Office of College Services Board Room





Richard Allison
Maryann Anderson
Mary Frances Archey
Elizabeth Claytor
John Dziak
Carl Francolino
Rita Gallegos
Jane Greenwood
Shirley Harr
Nancy Jenkins
Evelyn Kitchens-Stephens
Audrey Rosenthal
Vickie Rostis
Barbara Thompson
Marianne Trale
Stephen Wells 

Donna Imhoff

Dwight Bishop
Fran Dice
Brenda Trettel
Eugene Ziska


Maryann Anderson, College Council Chair, called the meeting to order at 2:31 PM.


Maryann Anderson again thanked Elizabeth Claytor for taking minutes. Carl Francolino moved to approve the minutes of the March 8, 2012 meeting of College Council. Rita Gallegos seconded the motion and the minutes were approved as amended.



Rita Gallegos, Chair, reported that the Subcommittee met on March 15, and as a result, the following eight proposals were accepted and will be presented to Council: Revised Biology Program, Revised Business Parallel Program, Revised Chemistry Program, Land Administration, Syllabus Proposal, Engineering Science, Heating and Air Conditioning Program, and Green and Sustainable Building Design.


Steve Wells, Chair, reported that Electrical Engineering and Graphic Communication and Digital Graphics Design programs were approved and will be presented to Council. There are four program/discipline reviews scheduled to be presented at the next subcommittee meeting.

Program/Discipline Review: Physics/Physical Science Discipline
Brenda Trettel and Eugene Ziska presented the Physics/Physical Science Discipline Review. In the review process, the various components were divided among the physics faculty members throughout the College. The faculty members examined the curriculum as well as  employment opportunities. The curriculum was redesigned last year, and minor changes must be made to be in compliance with the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Oversight Committee (TAOC). A recommendation was made to incorporate more assessment into labs. The division faculty will firm up some learning outcomes and representatives will return with curriculum changes at a later date.

After examining employment opportunities, faculty reported that there are no jobs at the  Associates degree  level, and few at the Bachelor degree level. A student would need a graduate degree to work in the field of Physics. Our program is designed as a transfer program. Additionally, physics courses are required by other programs.

Maryann Anderson asked if upper-level courses are being offered so that students may graduate from the program. Mr. Ziska replied that some upper level courses run because they are offered during the summer to draw not only our students, but students who are home from other colleges.

Institutional recommendations include better facilities and equipment at three of the campuses. Facilities at Allegheny campus will be sufficient when the new science building opens. More full-time faculty are needed at all campuses. Additional tutoring, especially for the higher-level courses is needed at some campuses; however, Mr. Ziska and Dr. Trettel could not specify which campuses are lacking physics tutors. An observatory is needed at all campuses.

Mr. Ziska mentioned there might be an opportunity to generate rental income from the new observatory at Allegheny campus. Nancy Jenkins cautioned that since the State financed the observatory, then the State will want a share or all of the income.

Marianne Trale moved to accept the program review. Shirley Harr seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.


Evelyn Kitchens-Stephens reported the Subcommittee met on March 1and approved the following proposal.

Proposal: Amendment to the Probation Suspension Policy

Fran Dice presented the proposal which would delay by one semester the enforcement of probation or suspension.

Mrs. Dice explained that at any time there are approximately 2500 students who are on some form of probation or suspension. For each of these students, the College must gather and process the grade information, notify the student, and allow the student time to appeal. It is a somewhat complex process, and takes time to go through each of the steps. Currently, in theory, students go on probation or suspension the semester immediately following the semester in which they qualify. Because the College is not able to complete all steps in a timely manner, the proposal reflects the current practice. This proposal just formalizes the process.

Some concern was expressed that delaying the process will mean that students could be taking a full load as they wait for the process to be completed, which will make their situation worse.

Jane Greenwood moved to accept the proposal. Audrey Rosenthal seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.


Carl Francolino reported that the subcommittee met and heard two representatives from Blackboard. The Blackboard guests shared their vision, and answered questions from those who attended the meeting. At the April 19 meeting, there will be a video conference on Safe Assign, and attendees can address any problems at that time.

Annual Online Learning Report
Dwight Bishop presented the report and highlighted some key accomplishments.

  • In 2007 12.1% of courses were online courses. In 2011 16.2% of courses were online 

  • One third of all CCAC students take at least one online course (telecourse, hybrid or internet)
  • In 2011, 16.5% were not residents of Allegheny County.
  • The College upgraded Blackboard from version 7 to version 9.1.
  • The Department delivered 20 workshops and more than 80 one-on-one sessions.
  • A new lock-down browser was installed to improve online testing security.

Dr. Bishop presented the following recommendations.

  • Pilot online testing and remote proctoring, in which students would be required to have a camera and broadband connection. The student would record themselves on camera and move the camera to demonstrate there is nothing around them in terms of aids
  • Update and expand the students handbook

Dr. Bishop further reported that we are comparable to other colleges is what we offer in terms of online learning, and our down time is much better than many institutions.

Evelyn Kitchens-Stephens moved to accept the report. Rita Gallegos seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.


There was no unfinished business.


Subcommittee Responsibilities

Maryann Anderson reviewed the responsibilities of subcommittees, and thanked everyone for their hard work. The problem of posting minutes on the website was discussed. The CMS system is difficult to learn, and the minutes tend to not be posted because the subcommittee secretaries must be trained. Currently the training does not sufficiently address how to post minutes. With the turnover in subcommittee officers, the positions of secretary changes from year to year, and additional people need to be trained.  

Mary Frances Archey will talk with Nancilee Burzachechi to inquire if there is a secretary who could post subcommittee minutes on the website. Barbara Thompson will continue to post the College Council minutes.

Dr. Archey reported that the College will begin an imaging program with documents which would allow a large number of people to view these documents. The program will start with Admissions, but will not be available for a while.

Dr. Archey clarified that when proposals go through governance, the final copy resides with Fran Dice. Dr. Archey commented that these proposals could reside on an intranet. Fran Dice will talk with Amanda Lawson and Ibrahim Garbioglu regarding greater access to these final proposals, and will update Council.

There being no further business, the meeting ended at 4:12 PM.

The next meeting of College Council will be April 12.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Thompson
College Council Secretary