Oct 26, 2021  
2021-2022 Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Catalog

Understanding Courses and Credit Hours


Courses & Schedules
Lecture Classes
Laboratory Classes
Skills Lab
Studio & Activity Classes
Clinical Experiences
Practicum Experiences
Cooperative Education 
Independent Study
Honors Program
ACT 48
Open Laboratories
Community Education

Courses & Schedules

Each term, the classes being offered are listed in the credit course magazine published three times per year and on ccac.edu. Course descriptions are listed in the catalog and through program pages on the CCAC website and through "Search for Sections" on CCAC Central. Descriptions include course alphacodes and numbers (the course identifier), titles, credits, class hours and any pre- or corequisite instruction required. The credit schedule assigns each class a section identifying specific campus or center location, dates, times, room and instructor for the class. Because students have different learning styles and learn best when a variety of teaching methods are used to present information in the classroom, CCAC delivers instruction in a variety of ways. For more information, go to Course Catalog Search.

For most of the courses listed in the catalog, teaching techniques include lectures, labs, discussion, student and media presentations, self-paced or computer-assisted instruction, online instruction and field trips. These techniques are noted in the course descriptions.

What is Prerequisite and Corequisite Instruction?

Prerequisite Instruction: Many courses at the college require prerequisites. Prerequisites provide the skills and knowledge needed to begin a course and are listed with each course description. A prerequisite may be a high school course, a course or courses at the college or other equivalent educational experiences. If students are uncertain whether they have the skill and knowledge to enroll in a course, they should contact an academic advisor.
Corequisite Instruction: Two or more courses that should be taken at the same time are corequisites. You learn information in each class that will help you in the other.

Types of Credit Courses

Lecture Classes

Lecture (LEC) classes are courses with multiple students which meet to engage in various forms of group instruction under the direct supervision of a faculty member. For lecture classes, the college awards one college credit for every 15 hours in class in a term. In a 16-week fall or spring term (15 weeks plus finals week), a three-credit course meets three hours a week; each "credit hour" is equal to 50 minutes. Meeting times are prorated for classes that meet for fewer than 15 weeks. For every hour of lecture, students should expect to spend a minimum of 2 hours outside of class with reading, study and assignments.

Laboratory Classes

Laboratory (LAB) courses focus on experiential learning under the direct supervision of a faculty member wherein the student performs substantive work in a laboratory setting. Common in the sciences and technologies, classes provide laboratory experiences and demonstrations with a high degree of "hands-on" experience to help students learn course material. Labs are listed in the course descriptions. They may be incorporated into one section with the lecture or offered as an individual class as a "corequisite" to the lecture section.

Credits assigned to laboratory classes vary. The college awards one credit for every 22.5 class hours in a term. In a 16-week fall or spring term, a one-credit laboratory meets two to three hours a week. Students should expect to spend one hour per week per credit in out-of-class work.

Skills Lab

Skills lab (SKL) courses focus on attaining skill in a setting that combines lecture and hands-on teaching. These courses are commonly utilized in the trades and technology programs. For skills lab classes, the college awards one college credit for every 15 hours or more in class in a term.

Studio Classes

Studio (STU) courses focus on the application of studio techniques, such as art, dance and music provide students the time, setting and materials to practice a skill under the guidance of a professional. Credits assigned to these studio or activity experiences vary. The college awards one credit for every 25 class hours in a term. In a 16-week fall or spring term, a three-credit class meets five hours a week. This schedule may vary during the term depending upon the nature of the activity. Students should expect to spend one hour per week in outside work for each credit; some of this out-of-class student work can be fulfilled during studio "open lab" times on campus.

Activity Classes

Activity courses focus on the application of health and physical education activities. The college awards one college credit for every 15 hours in class in a term. In a 16-week fall or spring term, a two-credit class meets three hours per week. Students should expect to spend one hour per week in outside work for each credit.

Clinical Experiences

Allied Health and Nursing programs at the college require students to complete work-based learning. Clinical courses (course numbers end with C) focus on experiential learning under the direct supervision of a faculty member, wherein the student performs substantive work in a clinical setting. These practical experiences provide students with the opportunity to gain experience in a health care or appropriate program-related facility as early as the first term in a program. Clinicals are usually scheduled during the fall and spring terms although some programs also require summer assignments. All clinical experiences are offered at college-approved sites. For these clinical experiences, the college awards one credit for every 60 hours in a term. In a 16-week fall or spring term, a one-credit clinical or practicum experience may require four hours each week. Scheduling may not be regular and may extend beyond the 16-week term. Students should expect to spend one hour per week in outside work for each credit.

Practicum and Fieldwork Experiences

Many other programs at the college require students to complete work-based learning. These practicum or fieldwork experiences (course numbers end with P) focus on experiential learning under the direct supervision of a faculty member, wherein the student performs substantive work in a practicum setting. These practical experiences are usually scheduled during the fall and spring terms although some programs also require summer assignments. Practicum experiences are offered at college-approved sites. For these practicum experiences, the college awards one credit for every 60 hours in a term. In a 16-week fall or spring term, a one-credit practicum experience may require four hours each week or longer daytime schedule over fewer weeks. Scheduling may not be regular and may extend beyond the 16-week term. Students should expect to spend one hour per week in outside work for each credit.

Cooperative Education Experiences

The Cooperative Education program enables students in specific majors to gain academic credit for work experience by applying classroom instruction directly to related work activities. Through cooperative education (course numbers end in CP), students gain experience in the latest techniques, procedures and equipment used in business, industry and the public sector. 

Close coordination and supervision by the college ensures that the co-op program becomes a viable learning opportunity. Academic credit awarded depends on the number of hours worked, the number of credits needed and the academic major. For these coop experiences, the college awards one credit for every 50 hours in a term. This is a minimum number of hours; students may be required to complete more hours, as defined by the department.

To qualify for the Cooperative Education program, students must have:

  • completed at least 30 credits with at least 12 credits in their major field,
  • maintained at least a 2.50 GPA and attend the college the semester before beginning the program.

Additional departmental requirements may apply. No student may enroll in cooperative education programs without formal faculty approval. Interested students should register on the CCAC Job Placement Central Job Bank at www.collegecentral.com/ccac and apply for admission at least one term before enrolling in the program.

Students approved need to register and pay for Cooperative Education credits. Internships, not for credit, are also available. Interested students can contact the director of Job Placement and Career Services on their campus to initiate the process. For more information go to ccac.edu/job-placement/cooperative-education.php.

Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeship programs are another form of work-based learning. These apprenticeships are registered and offered through the an affililated partnership with the Local Joint Apprenticeship Committee; see Building Construction Apprentice Programs 

Interested in additional information about the variety of work and industry-based learning opportunities? Learn more about CCAC Work-based Learning or download the Work-based Learning Flyer .

Independent Study

Independent study allows students to explore academic topics not available in existing CCAC or Pittsburgh Council of Higher Education (PCHE) curricula. Independent study is an enrichment experience designed to meet the individual academic interests of students. Independent study cannot be used to take/replace any existing course currently offered by CCAC and listed in the current college catalog. Independent study must be a free elective that cannot be substituted for any required course. Permission of the dean of Academic Affairs is required for the faculty to enter into an independent study contract with the student. An independent study contract describing the course of study and assessment/evaluation procedures must be filed with the academic dean by the end of the first week of classes. The student must register for the independent study course.

Independent study courses are identified by the 300 series of course numbers. Only six credits of independent study may be applied toward an associate degree and three credits of independent study toward a certificate or diploma. Students are advised that, while independent study courses count toward their program degrees or certificate completion at CCAC, often these independent study courses may not be accepted as credit for transfer to other institutions of higher education.

Honors Program

The CCAC Honors Program unites academically outstanding students and faculty in the pursuit of academic excellence and fosters the development of scholarship, communication and leadership skills in the students. Students earn Honors credits through Honors-designated courses and/or Honors-by-contract with a faculty mentor in a regular course in which they complete an enrichment project of their own design, following guidelines set by their mentor.

Honors students further enhance their academic experience through participation in Honors cultural activities and by attending regional and national Honors conferences. Other benefits include notation of Honors course credits on academic transcripts, Honors scholarship money in the form of in-county tuition reimbursement for Honors courses (if students are not fully funded from another source), the opportunity to compete for four all-tuition Leadership in Honors Scholarships for returning Honors students, and wearing Honors cords at graduation. Honors students earning 15 or more Honors credits are awarded an Honors degree and wear an Honors medallion at graduation.

To qualify for the Honors Program, applicants must be:

  • enrolled in an associate degree program;
  • eligible for college-level English Composition 1 (ENG 101) and Algebra Fundamentals (MAT 090) or above, either by placing directly into them through the CCAC placement tests or by completing required developmental courses in English, developmental studies, and mathematics.

In addition, applicants must meet eligibility criteria based on their status:

  • Current CCAC or transfer students must have nine credits of college-level coursework and an institutional GPA of 3.50 or higher (transfer students must submit a postsecondary transcript with their application).
  • Students with GPAs between a 3.25 and 3.49 may make a special application with a letter of recommendation from a CCAC faculty member and an interview with the campus Honors coordinator.

High school students must meet two of the following criteria:

  • have a high school GPA of 3.50 or higher;
  • be in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class;
  • have an SAT score of 1180 or greater or have an ACT score of 26 or greater; or
  • be a member of the National Honor Society (high school applicants must submit a high school transcript with their application).

To remain in good standing in the program, Honors students must maintain an institutional GPA of 3.00, earn a minimum of three credits in Honors each academic year and participate in Honors activities. For more information, go to ccac.edu/honors.

ACT 48

CCAC is an approved provider of credit-level Act 48 courses in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Educators wishing to take CCAC courses for Act 48 should check their course selection with their school district. Educators who are not currently teaching for a specific school district should contact the school district in which they live for recommendations on Act 48 coursework. When registering at CCAC, the educators should identify their interest in Act 48. CCAC will code their registration for reporting to the Commonwealth at the end of the term. Act 48 students can review course offerings at ccac.edu/48.

Open Laboratories

The college provides computer facilities, learning assistance centers and in some cases, mathematics, reading and writing laboratories at each campus. Open laboratories do not provide organized instruction but add to classroom instruction. Depending upon the availability of facilities, open laboratory hours can be arranged to fit individual student schedules. These activities, which may be required, receive no college credit.

Community Education

Community Education programs offer wide-ranging and accessible courses for personal and professional enrichment and problem solving at home and at work. Students may enroll individually or through businesses, community groups or professional organizations. Classes are offered at convenient times on weekdays and weekends at a variety of Allegheny County locations. For more information, go to ccac.edu/community-education/.