Apr 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Learning Environment & Academic Support

College Facilities, Classrooms & Services

The college has over one million square feet of modern instructional, support, study and recreational space to support the college’s nearly 160 academic programs. Classrooms range from small seminar rooms to large lecture halls with the majority of rooms designed to service 20 to 30 students. Many of the college’s laboratory and lecture rooms are equipped with dedicated instructional technology designed to support and facilitate learning. Rooms so equipped include a dedicated computer, access to the college computer network and the internet, large projection screens and other associated technology.

The college also provides a sizable number of modern laboratories in the natural and physical sciences, nursing and allied health, computing, food sciences, the arts and automotive and technical career areas. In addition to theatres and auditoriums, there are recreational facilities including gymnasiums, health and fitness centers, aerobics and weight areas at each campus. Allegheny Campus also offers access to racquetball courts.

CCAC hosts intercollegiate athletics as members of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) participating in the following men’s and women’s sports: baseball, softball, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s cross country, and men’s and women’s bowling. CCAC also participates in club hockey as members of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).

The college offers at each of its four campuses career services and job search assistance, transfer assistance, financial aid, personal and career counseling, tutoring and supportive services for individuals with disabilities.

CCAC Safety and Security, under the direction of the four campus presidents, is comprised of five full-time directors, at least one at each campus, who manage a team of security guards. Together, they devote more than 115,000 hours annually to ensuring the safety of all members of the CCAC community. For more information, go to ccac.edu/security/index.php or use the “safety & Security” link found on the website footer.


Education at the Community College of Allegheny County begins with the instructor in the classroom or online. Rules and procedures for developing a productive academic partnership with the instructor are detailed in the “Academic Rules & Regulations  ” section of the catalog.

CCAC has a talented and creative faculty interested in teaching students who desire to learn. Of the 243 full-time faculty, approximately 82 percent have a master’s degree or higher in their field. Many others have additional certifications and licenses in specialty areas and continue to develop their professional skills through workshops, seminars, college coursework and related work place experiences. The college’s talented adjunct faculty, selected from qualified, local professionals, display high levels of expertise in the subjects they teach.

Online Learning Programs and Guidelines

Online Learning refers to the delivery of classroom instruction using nontraditional formats and methods. It allows  students to craft a class schedule that fits their life and is a wonderful alternative for those who need flexibility due to job and family responsibilities. Instruction is provided through internet courses and hybrid courses. All courses are offered for credit and are applicable to the academic requirements for an associate degree and some certificate programs. Course credits are transferable should the student choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Students wishing to transfer should also work with a CCAC counselor. Tests are taken online or at a proctored testing site. Students are expected to meet all deadlines as set by the course instructor and academic calendar.

Online Learning courses require students to plan carefully and make necessary adjustments in order to succeed in this learning environment. See ccac.edu/online for complete information, including course descriptions, technology requirements, testing, guidelines and other valuable information. Successful Online Learning students are self-motivated, work well on their own or in groups and are able to meet deadlines.

The successful Online Learning student:

  • has discussed Online Learning with an academic advisor;
  • is computer and internet literate (familiar with the mouse, email, downloading, email attachments, browsers and word processing);
  • works independently;
  • has good planning and organizational skills;
  • is comfortable meeting deadlines;
  • has completed all course prerequisites; and
  • meets all the technical requirements of the course.

Students should take the online self-test to determine if Online Learning courses are a good choice for them. For more information, go to ccac.edu/virtual-campus/self-test.php

Types of Online Learning

Internet Courses

Internet courses require the use of a computer with Internet access, a CCAC provided email account and other computer hardware and software

Generally, all teaching and learning takes place via the Internet. Students interact with the instructor and classmates through a course website. Learning activities and assignments are completed according to the instructions and schedule posted by the instructor. Some instructors required students to take their exams at CCAC testing sites or with an approved proctor. Please check with the instructor for this information.

Students taking Internet courses must have access to a computer with an Internet connection. Students must also be computer literate and be comfortable using software, email and performing other activities on the Internet. Some courses have specific technical requirements or indicate that students must own specific software packages to take the course. Students should inquire about what is needed before registering for the course. Students can visit the Technical Requirements webpage for specifics.

For more information about Online Learning, go to ccac.edu/virtual-campus/index.php.

Remote Learning via Zoom

CCAC offers a unique course offering called Remote Learning. A remote learning course uses Blackboard to provide learners with scheduled “live” online sessions via Zoom on specific days and times, which are noted on the course schedule. Generally, lectures and some learning activities take place in the online sessions and students can interact with the instructor and classmates through the course website and Zoom. Full details and instructions for accessing Zoom will be made available in Blackboard.

Students are expected to have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and an Internet connection. Students must also be computer literate and be comfortable using software, email and performing other activities on the Internet. Some courses have specific technical requirements or indicate that students must own specific software packages to take the course. Students should inquire about what is needed before registering for the course. Students can visit the Technical Requirements webpage for specifics.

A Student Guide to Zoom at CCAC

Hybrid Courses

Hybrid courses are offered in a blended format with one or more face-to-face class sessions at one of CCAC’s campuses or centers and at least one or more online sessions, both containing direct interaction with a faculty member.  Students are expected to communicate with faculty using a CCAC provided email account. Students taking hybrid courses must have access to a computer with an Internet connection. Students must also be computer literate and be comfortable using software, email and performing other activities on the Internet. Some courses have specific technical requirements or indicate that students must own specific software packages to take the course. Students should inquire about what is needed before registering for the course. Additional hardware or software at the student’s expense may be required as determined by the instructor. Students can visit the Technical Requirements webpage for specifics.

Courses that are converted to remote instruction due to COVID-19 may also include hybrid online instruction.

These courses have the same learning outcomes and substantive components of a standard course with an alternate delivery method. Contact time is assessed using both on-campus definitions (for the on-campus portion) and online definitions (for the online portion). In all such instances, these courses must meet the total amount of instructional and student work time even when a portion is delivered online or asynchronously.

Contact time for the online portion of the hybrid course is satisfied by several means which can include, but is not limited to, the following: a) regular instruction or interaction with a faculty member once a week for each week the course runs; b) Academic engagement through interactive tutorials, group discussions moderated by faculty, virtual study/project groups, engaging with class peers, and computer tutorials graded and reviewed by faculty. The percentage of online instruction time may be 20%, 40%, 50%, 60% or 80%. Consult the online class schedule for information of hybrid percentages specific to each course section.

Online Resources

Online resources, including links to online tutoring, library services and on-demand video workshops (Student Lingo) are available through www.ccac.edu/Online_Learning__Support.aspx or the resource link in your online course.

Online Learning Testing

Please note: Taking course exams at a CCAC testing site or a non-CCAC testing site is a requirement of some Online Learning classes. Other Online Learning classes may require students to take exams online. For more information, go to www.ccac.edu/Proctoring_Information.aspx.

College Bookstores

CCAC’s five bookstores, located at each of the four campuses and at the West Hills Center, provide textbooks and other instructional materials needed for classes. Bookstores are open Monday through Friday with specific hours of operation posted at each campus store and on CCAC’s website at ccac.edu/student-services/bookstores.php.  The bookstores require a CCAC student ID and CCAC class schedule to serve students. As an added convenience to students, textbooks may be purchased online and delivered to the student. Please visit www.ccac.bkstr.com to see offerings available for purchase online.

Complete textbook information, including new and used price, title, author and ISBN number, is available through CCAC Central e-Services when students search for course sections. Go to ccac.edu, click on “CCAC Central e-Services” at the bottom of all CCAC web pages, log in using student ID and password and click on “Search for Sections.” The textbook information will be part of the course and section information that will be displayed for the course and section students select. Textbook information is not always available for all courses.

Textbooks can be returned with certain restrictions. Students should check their bookstore location.

CCAC bookstores conduct book buybacks throughout the year. CCAC makes every attempt to buy back as many books as possible but cannot guarantee all books will be repurchased. For more information, go to ccac.edu/student-services/bookstores.php

Computing Facilities

Computers for student use are available at each campus in the library, learning center, computer center and in computer classrooms. At the campus computer center, students can access word processing, email, the Internet and a variety of software packages for completing coursework. Hours for the computer labs at each campus will vary and are posted to the college website at ccac.edu/its/computer-labs.php


The four campus libraries offer a combined collection of more than 250,000 books, 800 periodical titles, 20,000 audiovisual titles (DVDs, compact discs, audio books, etc.) and over 55,000 e-books. The library also has over 70 online research databases accessible through the library website at www.ccac.edu/library. These research databases allow you to access thousands of full-text magazine, journal, newspaper and reference articles and streaming videos in subject areas such as business, education, medicine, arts and sciences and the social sciences. The library website provides many useful links to students, including Course Guides for projects assigned by CCAC instructors, web resources and i-CONNECT, a self-paced guide to better researching skills. In addition to traditional services for all students, such as interlibrary loans, customized services are provided to support distance learning students. Each library provides quiet study areas and professional staff to assist you with your research projects. We encourage you to visit the library and website.

Student Success Initiatives

The Community College of Allegheny County is committed to helping more students reach their goals. CCAC promotes student success through various initiatives, such as Roadmap, Learning Assistance Centers, Early Intervention, the Accelerated Learning Program, tutoring and Student Lingo. If contacted by CCAC staff as part of these initiatives, students should follow the recommendations of CCAC staff, whether that means meeting with an advisor, following up with tutoring or registering for SDS 102 . CCAC wants you to succeed at all levels.

Learning Commons

The Learning Commons, grant-funded facilities, are study areas where students can work independently, get help with assignments, interact with faculty or engage in peer and computer-assisted learning. All CCAC students have access to the Learning Commons to work on reading, writing, and study skills that can improve learning outcomes in any content area. For more information, go to ccac.edu/tutoring/learning-commons.php

Math Cafe

The Math Cafés are open for students to drop in for assistance as questions arise. In both the Math Cafés and Learning Commons, instructors and tutors may also schedule group tutoring sessions. Diagnostic learning software is available for students to build math and reading skills as well as prepare for the CCAC placement tests.

Learning Assistance Centers

The Learning Assistance Centers (LAC) at each campus provide robust services for learning support to help students build skills and improve their academic performance. Each Learning Assistance Center offers free tutoring services in a wide range of subject areas. Students can make an appointment or simply drop in for help with homework or assignments.

CCAC also provides students 10 hours of free online tutoring per semester via chat rooms and message boards. For information on the online tutoring service and on-campus tutoring schedules, go to ccac.edu/tutoring/tutoring.php

Student Success Coaches

Student success coaches are available on each campus to address the specific needs of various student populations, such as students enrolled in developmental coursework. Success coaches are a resource for students and provide mentorship, monitor the progress of students and provide support to students as they complete their studies at CCAC.

Accommodations For Individuals With Disabilities

The College recognizes its responsibility to provide academic and nonacademic services and programs equally to individuals with and without disabilities. To this end, the College will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified students and employees with identified disabilities consistent with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and other federal, state and local laws and regulations.

The College will maintain an Office of Supportive Services at each campus location to receive, review, and evaluate requests from students who require an accommodation with respect to their educational program. The College’s Civil Rights Compliance Officer/Title IX Coordinator will have overall responsibility for coordinating disability services across all College campus locations.

The College’s Office of Human Resources is designated to receive, review and evaluate employee requests for accommodations in the workplace due to an identified disability.

Military & Veterans Services Center

Federal and State approving agencies have authorized CCAC to administer veteran education benefits for CCAC students. The Military & Veterans Services Center offerings include, but are not limited to:

  • providing information on VA benefits specific to a student’s situation;
  • referring students to the appropriate campus or community resources;
  • helping students navigate the campus and all the various departments; and
  • connecting new students with other student veterans at CCAC.

Veterans wishing to use their benefits should complete the appropriate forms with CCAC Military & Veterans Services Center either in person or online. Veterans are required to fill out a new certification request form each term they wish to use their benefits.  VA benefits counseling is available at each campus, with a full-time staff dedicating to serving veteran students at Allegheny Campus.

Veterans must meet the College Academic Progress Policy in order to continue receiving VA educational benefits. (See the “Academic Rules & Regulations ” section of this catalog) Veterans are encouraged to apply early for admissions, financial aid and their VA benefits.

The Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018

  • A Covered Individual is any individual who is entitled to educational assistance under chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, or chapter 33, Post-9/11 GI Bill ® benefits.
  • Your policy must ensure that your educational institution will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a covered individual borrow additional funds, on any covered individual because of the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement funding from VA under chapter 31 or 33.
  • Your policy must permit any covered individual to attend or participate in the course of education during the period beginning on the date on which the individual provides to the educational institution a certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under chapter 31 or 33 a “certificate of eligibility” can also include a “Statement of Benefits” obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) website – eBenefits, or a VAF 28-1905 form for chapter 31 authorization purposes) and ending on the earlier of the following dates:
    • The date on which payment from VA is made to the institution.
    • 90 days after the date the institution certified tuition and fees following the receipt of the certificate of eligibility.

Certification request forms are available in the Military & Veterans Services Center, 212 Jones Hall (and online at ccac.edu/Veterans, For more information, please call 412.237.6503 or email VeteransServices@ccac.edu.

Information Technology Services

Students have access to a variety of network and online services to support their learning at CCAC. Once students have been accepted to the college, they will be provided with a network account which provides access to the CCAC network from any campus PC, a student academic email account and access to student web page publishing.

The ITS ServiceDesk provides technology support for students to promote learning and student success. Students may contact the ServiceDesk by phone or email for technology information or technical assistance. Go to ccac.edu/tutoring/tutoring.php for hours of operation and contact information.

Other online services available to students include CCAC Central e-Services for registration, payment, grades and transcript information; Blackboard for accessing course documents on the web; online bookstore; Appointment Central for scheduling advising and other appointments; and Online Dean for getting answers to questions; and online tutoring services. For more information about technology services, go to ccac.edu/online-services.

Student Life

Each campus maintains a Student Life office. Skilled student service professionals administer the Student Development program. They provide an extensive array of co- and extracurricular activities to make students’ time both enjoyable and enriching. These activities include student government, clubs and cultural events. Students may also participate in lifetime fitness, intercollegiate sports, recreation programs or write for the campus newspaper.

Information about clubs and organizations for students is found at ccac.edu/life.

  • A variety of interest-specific clubs are available at each CCAC campus.
  • Program related clubs: Biotech Club, Business Club, Cinema Club, Computer Club, Drama Club, Massage Therapy Club, Nursing Club, and Surgical Tech Club
  • Student Government Organization (at each campus)
  • Student Newspaper (at each campus)

In addition to clubs, students who qualify can become members of Phi Theta Kappa, the National Technical Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and Psi Beta honor societies.

The Student Engagement Transcript is a free service offered by Student Life to document and verify participation in athletics, student clubs and organizations, campus events and community service. Official copies of the Student Engagement Transcript can be added to a resume and academic transcript. To access the Student Engagement Transcript application, go to https://webapps.ccac.edu/EngagementTranscript.

For more information concerning these programs or other programs, contact the Student Life office or go to ccac.edu/life.