CCAC's Student Handbook is a helpful guide for all students to refer to concerning services for students, academic information, policies and regulations and general information.
All students are responsible for knowing and being familiar with the policies in the student handbook.
CCAC Policy Manual
Administrative regulations set forth rules and procedures which interpret Board of Trustee policies and describe the manner in which those Policies will be implemented at the College and at each of its campuses and centers. Administrative regulations are developed and revised, as needed, by the administration and approved by the College President.
Academic Rules & Regulations
CCAC's Academic Rules & Regulations are published in our online catalog. Use this link to view them now.
FERPA Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act
In accordance with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), personally identifiable information contained in student education records shall not be disclosed by the College without a student's prior written consent, except in cases in which FERPA authorizes disclosure without such prior consent. Such cases include disclosures that are made to:
- College officials with a legitimate educational interest in the information;
- Other schools to which a student is transferring or seeks to enroll;
- Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes*;
- Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
- Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
- Accrediting organizations;
- Comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies;
- State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to state law; and
- Victims of violent crimes and certain sex offenses, in accordance with the requirements of Title IX.
In addition to the foregoing, please be advised that the College may disclose information that has been designated as directory information, in its discretion and without a student's prior consent, unless the student notifies the College in writing that she or he does not want directory information to be disclosed. Directory information includes a student's name, postal and e-mail address, telephone number, date and place of birth, photograph, major field or program of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance/registration periods, enrollment status (e.g. full or part-time), number of credits, and degrees, honors and awards received. If a student does not want their directory information to be disclosed without his or her prior consent, the student must complete a "Privacy Request" form at the Registration and Advisement office at which the student is enrolled. Please note that if a student requests that no directory information be shared, the request will include the non-disclosure Degree Verification once you graduate.
- The right to inspect and review their education record within forty-five (45) days of the College's receipt of the request for access;
- The right to request amendment of education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise violate the student's privacy rights;
- The right to a hearing if a request to amend the student's education records is denied;
- The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent;
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Family Policy
Compliance Office concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements
of FERPA. The contact information for this office is as follows:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Students who wish to grant consent for parents, guardians or other third parties to
access the student's educational records must complete the FERPA Release form specifying the types of records to be shared, sign and submit to the campus Registration
and Advisement Office.
Military requests for student information for recruiting purposes, under the Solomon Amendment, supersede FERPA regulations see instructions for requesting student information via the Solomon Amendment. (should like to the new Military and Veterans Page)
Financial Aid Policies
- Students who wish to completely withdraw from their courses must officially withdraw at the Registration Office by completing a withdrawal form and notify the financial aid office. If the student is unable to do this in person or by mail the student can contact the financial aid office by phone.
- Students who completely withdraw at or before 60% of the term will be processed through
a federally mandated Return of Title IV Funds Calculation.
This calculation determines the percentage of financial aid the student has earned based on the number of days the student attended divided by the number of days in the enrollment period.
- The student will be responsible to pay any unpaid institutional charges incurred by the institution having to return Title IV funds.
- The student will also be responsible for returning a percentage of unearned financial aid. This amount will be the difference between the amount of Title IV aid due from the school and the amount of Title IV aid to be returned.
- The school must return funds to the following sources, in order, up to the total net
amount from each source: Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan, Subsidized Federal Stafford
Loan, PLUS, Pell Grant, Federal ACG, Federal SEOG, and any other Title IV programs.
The student will return loan amounts in accordance with the terms of the promissory note.
If the student owes tuition and fees, the student will receive an invoice from the school.
The Financial Aid Office will notify the student of the amount of any Federal Grants that must be repaid by the student.
- If there is a reduction in tuition, students receiving the PHEAA State Grant may be required to return a portion of what was received. You will be notified by financial aid if any amount of the state grant must be repaid.
- Financial aid is available to eligible students who enroll at the institution for a specific period and for a specific number of courses. Students who stop attending classes as reported by the faculty will have financial aid adjusted to reflect the student's unofficial withdrawal from classes.
- Students who are reported by the faculty as stopped attending classes will have their financial aid adjusted if the student has stopped attending classes during the institution's refund period. The institution will retain the full tuition and fees of students who stop attending classes and may report these students as enrolled for state appropriations. This procedure parallels the manner in which the institution adjusts students who officially withdraw from classes.
- Students who are reported by the faculty as stopped attending classes after the institution's refund period (unless the student has stopped attending all classes) will not have financial aid adjusted, but will be expected to make satisfactory academic progress according to the federal guidelines established for financial aid recipients. The institution will retain the full tuition and fees of students who stop attending classes and may report these students as enrolled for state appropriations. This procedure parallels the manner in which the institution adjusts students who officially withdraw from classes.
HEOA Consumer Information
The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), includes many disclosure and reporting requirements. A disclosure requirement is information that a post-secondary education institution is required to distribute or make available to another party. A reporting requirement is information submitted to the U.S. Department of Education or other agencies. The information provided on these pages meets these requirements.
Per 34 C.F.R. 600.9(a) and 34 C.F.R. 668.43(b) Students enrolled in classes at The Community College of Allegheny County should attempt to resolve any academic issues or complaints through the College’s standard procedure for filing academic grievances. If the issue is not or cannot be resolved after all internal procedures have been exhausted, the student may file a complaint with the state of residence or the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (the College’s primary accrediting agency). This is in compliance with the Federal Department of Education’s State Authorization Regulations.
To file a complaint with the state of Pennsylvania, please submit a completed Higher Education Complaint Form to:
Bureau of Postsecondary and Adult Education
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street, 12th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
[email protected] (for submission of form or questions)
Military and Veteran's Services Policies
You must report any changes in your schedule to the OMVS office. Any changed schedule must align to your degree program. OMVS will notify you if they can't certify a course, but you are responsible for any schedule changes and fees related to dropping courses. If you change your schedule, you will need to notify OMVS.
Once you have registered and confirmed all of your courses satisfy current degree requirements complete the CCAC Military and Veterans Services Enrollment Certification Form every semester.
To continue receiving your VA benefits you must maintain grades in accordance with the CCAC Standards of Academic Progress.
The Community College of Allegheny County's catalog policies and regulations apply to all students, including veterans and military-connected students. VA rules are additional rules which apply to veterans only. Please feel free to discuss your questions with your counselor or academic advisor.
Failure to attend a class without processing an official withdrawal will result in the Veterans Administration readjusting your training time and monthly benefit.
If a student enrolls in a class and is reported as not attending by the class instructor, the student may be dropped from the class. Although the class will not appear on the student's official transcript, the student will be responsible for all tuition and fees associated with the class.
VA regulations prohibit repeating a course in pursuit of a higher GPA for courses where a passing grade (a "d" grade or higher) was earned. However, if a "C" grade or better is necessary to progress to the next level (i.e. Nursing Clinical or prerequisite) in the student's program.
It is the responsibility of the VA to determine your eligibility and monthly monetary award. This is not determined by the OMVS.
Students who have Tuition Assistance through the Pennsylvania National Guard must take a letter of eligibility from their unit commander to the Bursar office every term.
Any questions you may have regarding your eligibility or education benefits should be directed to the VA. You may telephone them at 888.442.4551.
Important: VA students are paid on a monthly basis based on current hours enrolled. Students need to be aware that taking courses in terms of different lengths (16 weeks, 14 weeks) may affect their full-time status. It is the student's responsibility to check this with the VA.
If you are in Chapter 30 or Chapter 1606, you are responsible for reporting the number of credits you are enrolled to the Department of Veteran Affairs in at the end of each month. You can do this by phone at 877.823.2378 or through the WAVE website.
All previous college transcripts and/or military records must be evaluated for appropriate transfer credit prior to certification of benefits, even if the coursework does not apply to your current curriculum, before your OMVS facilitator can certify your benefits. You need to speak to Registration and an academic advisor to have an evaluation.
CCAC can assist in requesting your Official Joint Service Transcript (JST). If you would like us to request it on your behalf please complete the Joint Service Transcript (JST) Request Form.
The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) requires that your coursework must be credited towards the associate of arts or associate of science degrees, approved applied degrees, approved diploma programs, and approved certificate programs. The approved programs of study can be found on the WEAMS website. The VA requires that your coursework is applicable to your chosen degree, diploma, or certificate. Courses that are not applicable to your degree, diploma, or certificate cannot be certified.
All colleges are required to comply with the final regulations of the Solomon Amendment. Failure to comply may result in the loss of federal funding including various forms of federal student aid. Procedures at the Community College of Allegheny County for military organizations to request information under the Solomon Amendment are outlined here.
The Solomon Amendment supersedes FERPA. Solomon is based on the definition of "Student Recruitment Information."
Definition - Student Recruitment Information:
Class Level (e.g. First-Year, Sophomore)
- Degree awarded
- Information released is limited to the current semester or the previous semester. If the request is received between semesters, the requestor must specify previous semester or upcoming semester.
- Students must be enrolled.
- If a student requests that their directory information be withheld under FERPA, this protection will be honored under Solomon; the student's records will not be released.
- Sub-population definition under Solomon is limited to the data elements included in
the definition of "Student Recruitment Information." Sub-population definitions according
to veteran status, academic performance, ethnicity, nationality, and gender are specifically
excluded under Solomon. At CCAC, we will provide sub-population definition according
- Undergraduate class level (e.g. First-Year, Sophomore)
- Campus or location of attendance
Information released is limited to military recruiting purposes only. The request for information must be in writing on letterhead that clearly identifies the military recruiting organization. Military recruiters must be from one of the following military organizations:
- Air Force
- Air Force Reserve
- Air Force National Guard
- Army National Guard
- Army Reserve
- Coast Guard
- Coast Guard Reserve
- Navy Reserve
- Marine Corps
- Marine Corps Reserve
All responses to Solomon Amendment requests for information will be processed centrally. Military Recruiters are to submit their Solomon requests to:
Office of the Registrar
800 Allegheny Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
Any requests sent directly to Campus Registration office should be immediately forwarded to the Registrar's Office.
Military Recruiters are required:
- To submit their request in writing, on letterhead that clearly identifies their military recruiting organization.
- To complete a Solomon Amendment Request for Information order form.
Requested information will be provided in an Excel file as an attachment to encrypted email or delivered via secure shared file platform.
Right to Know
Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know Law provides a mechanism through which members of the public can access public records from governmental agencies. The following provides details on how to submit a request for public records under the RTKL to CCAC:
Requests must be in writing via either hard-copy or email. Download the standard request form or request one through the Open Records office, 412.237.4413.
Requests for information must be specific as to the record(s) desired. You do not have to give a reason for the request.
Requests must be submitted to the following:
CCAC Open Records Officer
Byers Hall, Office of the President
800 Ridge Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
- [email protected]
A response to the request will be issued within five business days from the time it is received by the Open Records Officer.
You may be charged duplication and postage fees in keeping with standards set by the Office of Open Records. Prepayment may be required if fees are expected to exceed $100.
For more information about the new Right to Know Law, visit openrecords.state.pa.us
Safety and Security Policies
The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act (CSCPA) of 2000 is a federal law that provides for the tracking of convicted sex offenders enrolled at or employed at, institutions of higher education. The CSCPA is an amendment to the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Act.
The federal law requires state law enforcement agencies to maintain a registry of sexual offenders. In Pennsylvania the Pennsylvania State Police maintain such a registry at the following website: www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us.
All CCAC students, faculty and staff can access this site and view not only the registry but all the associated information including policy and restrictions on divulging various information about individuals. The law also states procedures requiring local law enforcement to make specific notifications to institutions of higher education when certain conditions exist. In the event that CCAC receives such notification the appropriate information will be made available to the campus community.
Community College of Allegheny County encourages all individuals who feel they are, have been or may be victims of sexual crimes, sexual intimidation or sexual discrimination to report to any of the following for assistance: Campus Security, local law enforcement, Dean of Student Development, Student Counselors, Supportive Services, Student Life, any campus administrator (for referral) or the following local agencies in Allegheny County; Center for Victims of Violence and Crime @ 412.392.8582 (24 hours) or Pittsburgh Action Against Rape @ 1.866.END.RAPE (24 hours).
CCAC constantly strives to maintain the safety of the college community and visitors. All members of the faculty, staff and security are continuously vigilant in their observations of the physical environs of the campuses, centers and satellite sites. Students and visitors are also encouraged to report hazardous or potentially hazardous situations by whatever convenient means available to Security or the Administration. Such incidents would include obstructions, spills, icy/slippery conditions, snow build-up, lighting issues, etc.
In the event that any member of the campus community (or visitor) suffers a personal injury while on campus, at a center or satellite or anywhere while engaged in a college approved activity or on college business it is important that the injury be reported immediately to Security and in a timely manner to one or more of the following; an instructor, a member of the Administration, a supervisor, or the campus Business Office. There are specific forms that must be completed to ensure prompt attention and resolution by the college's insurers.
Even if the injury seems minor at the time the incident should be reported to protect the individual should something develop over time that is attributable to the injury.
If an individual is incapacitated or otherwise unable to report the incident others aware of the incident are encouraged to report to Security or the Administration.
Technology Policies and Guidelines
The Community College of Allegheny County provides computing and networking services to members of the College community and other specified clients. Access to and use of computing and networking resources are privileges limited to authorized users and for approved purposes only.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) was signed into law on August 14, 2008. Final regulations were issued on October 29, 2009. Enforcement of the HEOA provisions formally begins July 1, 2010 and all colleges and universities are required to make a good-faith effort at compliance. Several sections of the HEOA deal with unauthorized file sharing on campus networks, imposing three general requirements on all U.S. colleges and universities:
- An annual disclosure to students describing federal copyright law and college policies related to violating copyright law.
- A plan to "effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials" by users of its network, including the use of one or more technology-based deterrents.
- An agreement to offer alternatives to illegal downloading.
The following is CCAC's plan for complying with HEOA and for combating the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials on the campus network.
Informing the Community
Within the first few weeks of the Fall and Spring terms, CCAC's Office of the Registrar posts a "Policy Reminder" message to all students which contains a reminder that the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials violates federal copyright laws as well as institutional policies. This message also contains links to where students can read more about FERPA and other institutional policies and sanctions.
CCAC has developed online orientation videos, which include an informational video on the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials. In this video you can learn more about the laws associated with file sharing.
As a Community College, we have a number of non-credit students. To communicate with non-traditional students, CCAC's ITS Department has posted signs in all areas with student computers stating that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials violates federal copyright laws.
Add the links to all websites with appropriate information
Technology Deterrent(s) Used
Currently, CCAC has implemented URL filtering which will be actively blocking tools utilized for illegal downloads. The tool is configured to block the ability to download software or other materials, serial numbers, key generators, and tools for bypassing software protection in violation of copyright agreements.
Periodic Review of Plan
The current approach and plan will be reviewed annually during the summer term.
Plan Review Completed
The CCAC website provides information for prospective students, parents of students and prospective students, current students, alumni, employees, employers, community partners and other stakeholders. CCAC.edu is the primary web presence of the institution in an increasingly digital world, and is often the first thing people encounter about CCAC when they start their college search.
The Webteam supports institutional, promotional and communication efforts by helping contributors publish their information on the college website.
The Mission of CCAC.edu
The mission of CCAC.edu is to support the mission, vision and goals of the college by acting as the institution's primary online identity and by delivering a user experience that will develop a lasting relationship with all visitors, particularly students and prospective students, by providing them with the information they need quickly, efficiently and enjoyably. To that end:
Site content will be accurate, current, relevant and engaging to respective audiences
and optimized to invite external audiences to interact with the page.
Site design including navigation, page layout, images, videos, thumbnails and media will be in keeping with the CCAC graphic standards and college brand.
CCAC.edu will maintain a united and consistent quality in writing, appearance and formatting that best reflects the brand and identity of the college and current web best practices while providing information that is suitable to its primary audiences.
All website changes must go through Information Technology Services. This form should be completed to request updates and changes to CCAC.edu.
For general questions regarding these guidelines, please feel free to contact the ServiceDesk by phone (412.237.8700), by email ([email protected]), or by chat. For assistance in resetting passwords, use our CCAC Password Tool.
Tuition and Cost Policies
By registering for classes or processing a registration transaction, a student becomes financially responsible for all related tuition and fee charges as detailed in the CCAC Student Financial Responsibility Agreement. If you experience a change in plans and choose not to take class(es), you must contact the Registration and Advising office and follow specific registration procedures to officially drop your registration before the first day of the term to avoid being charged. Not attending registered courses does not alleviate a student's financial responsibility.
A student may receive an adjustment for the semester's tuition and fee charges if he/she completes the official drop process through the Registration office. Adjustment of tuition and fee charges for dropped class(es) will be in accordance with College drop policy which states:
- Students who drop classes before the start of the term, CCAC will drop 100% of tuition and eligible fees.
- Students who drop from the first day of the term to the 14% point of the term, CCAC will drop 80% of tuition and 100% of eligible fees.
- Students who drop after the 14% of the term, CCAC will not drop any tuition/fee charges and the student remains financially responsible for all charges.
Students should refer to the Academic Calendar for specific drop date information.
In cases of course cancellation by the college, an adjustment equal to 100 percent of tuition and fees will be given. Students suspended for academic or disciplinary reasons, and found to be in violation of established college policy, will not be entitled to a refund of tuition and fees.
Upon enrollment all students are bound by the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) Student Financial Responsibility Agreement. The agreement outlines the financial terms and conditions associated with your registration. By registering for classes, you assume financial responsibility and agree to the terms of this agreement. If you have questions or would like more information about the CCAC Student Financial Responsibility Agreement, please contact the Office of the Bursar at 412.237.CCAC or [email protected].