In 1963, Pennsylvania passed the Community College Act, providing the legal framework for the establishment of community colleges in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Allegheny County Board of School Directors voted to ask Allegheny County to be the local sponsor, and a plan was submitted to the state. In May 1965, the "People's Bond Issue," requesting Allegheny County residents to approve funding for a community college, passed with 66% of the vote. Six months later, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education unanimously approved Allegheny County's application for the founding of a community college.
In December 1965, the first 15-member college board of trustees was sworn into office. The college's first president was named; the first two college locations, CCAC-Boyce Campus in Monroeville and CCAC-Allegheny Campus on Pittsburgh's North Shore, were chosen; and vice presidents were hired for those campuses. In September 1966, classes began at the new Community College of Allegheny County with 59 full- and 16 part-time faculty members serving 1,505 students.
CCAC-South Campus was established in 1967, followed by CCAC-North Campus in 1972. There are three neighborhood centers: Braddock Hills, Homewood-Brushton and West Hills Center in Oakdale. The college also maintains an ever-growing online learning presence.
Today, CCAC offers more than 130 programs of study across ten diverse career paths. CCAC's quality programs have enabled students to transfer credits to more than 500 different colleges and universities to continue their education. The college supports regional workforce needs with accessible instruction available day, evening, weekend and online in Allegheny County and beyond. Courses are taught using different modalities, including in-person (face-to-face), online, remote (via Zoom) and hybrid, with with a focus on enabling students to enter or reenter the workforce in two years or less.
The legacy continues.
The Community College of Allegheny County prepares individuals to succeed in a complex global society by providing affordable access to high quality career and transfer education delivered in a diverse, caring, and innovative learning environment.
CCAC is the essential community partner for building a more equitable and inclusive region. Our innovative educational programs and caring support services create pathways to prosperity for all learners.
- Becoming a more supportive, caring, and inclusive college.
- Expanding the college's role in addressing social and economic challenges in the community
- Design a more effective and equitable teaching and learning environment for all students.
- Improving stewardship of the college enterprise and resources.
We are committed to high academic standards and quality services provided in a caring, innovative and professional learning environment that places the success of students first.
We strive to serve the educational, economic and social needs of the community as one college through creative collaboration and teamwork.
We honor and embrace diversity by creating a positive, inclusive college culture that respects individual differences and values the unique experiences and perspectives of all students, faculty, and staff.
We promote an honest and open exchange of information and ideas, accountability for the effective use of resources placed in our trust and the fair and consistent treatment of all individuals.
CCAC's General Education Learning Goals embrace both the College Vision and the Assessment of Student Learning Committee's definition of an educated person. The College Vision of providing "an exemplary learning community where individuals can develop their full potential" in an environment of the highest standards "of academic excellence, technological advancement, innovative responsive programming and economic development" is the foundation for CCAC's General Education program. An educated person is one who acquires and continues to expand upon the following (ASL July 2005):
- A broad range of knowledge upon which to make value judgments
- The skills to locate valid information and comprehend that information
- The ability to analyze critically and synthesize efficiently valid information
- The ability to listen carefully and to communicate effectively
General Education Learning Goals support the above definition of an educated person by uniting student learning experiences across all programs, courses and services at CCAC. General Education Learning Goals include essential knowledge and skills that help students to adapt to and to participate in global, cultural, social, political, economic, personal and technological change. The Learning Goals support students in achieving:
- successful pursuits in higher education
- successful careers
- life-long learning
A CCAC student who graduates with an Associate Degree will have a level of proficiency comparable with the first two years of a baccalaureate degree in the following areas: Communication; Technological Competency; Information Literacy; Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Quantitative and Scientific Reasoning; Culture, Society and Citizenship.
Employ written and oral communication skills in order to convey clear and organized information to target audiences for specific purposes.
- Generate communication that addresses audience and purpose.
- Employ syntax, usage, style and tone appropriate to academic disciplines and professional environments.
- Present ideas in an organized framework appropriate to the subject.
- Develop ideas using concrete reasoning and clear explanation.
Use digital technology, productivity software, discipline-specific applications, and technology-mediated collaboration tools to complete tasks.
- Use technology resources to design, develop, present and publish information products.
- Employ technology resources to conduct research, analyze data, solve problems, synthesize information and inform decision-making.
- Use technology ethically and legally.
Identify problems, explore and prioritize solutions and revise priorities as a means for purposeful action.
- Identify and summarize the problem and/or question in clear and concise terms.
- Collect and review information from credible sources.
- Consider the influence of context, assumptions and underlying bias of resources.
- Synthesize and integrate information in order to support conclusions.
- When supported, articulate findings and prioritize solutions appropriately.
Apply appropriate mathematical and/or scientific concepts and theories in order to interpret data and solve problems based on verifiable evidence.
- Identify and extract relevant data from problems, experiments or projects.
- Organize data into tables, spreadsheets, graphs, symbols, equations and/or other visual representations.
- Analyze and interpret quantitative and qualitative data using sound mathematical/scientific concepts.
- Evaluate evidence and decide if conclusions based upon data are valid and consistent.
Describe and explain behaviors and beliefs of various populations throughout the United States of America and the world.
- Discuss the role of diversity and equity in the context of the United States of America and the world.
- Review social and cultural conventions within their historical contexts.
- Examine the interdependence of people in their respective environments.
- Examine artistic and aesthetic values of various cultures.
- Explain the nature of a democratic society.
- Articulate the values of civic engagement, community involvement and the role of service.
Acquire, analyze, organize and evaluate information through technological and traditional means.
- Determine the nature and scope of information needed for a specific task.
- Critically evaluate and organize information sources and content.
- Acquire and use information ethically and legally.