Aug 03, 2020  
2016-2017 Catalog 
2016-2017 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The College


The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) is one of the largest institutions of postsecondary higher education in Pennsylvania. Each year, the college serves more than 28,000 credit students through 152 degree and certificate programs and offers thousands of students access to lifelong learning and workforce development courses. Incorporating a learning-centered environment committed to the future of the region, CCAC continues to expand its reach through innovative programming and accessible instruction offered via convenient day, evening, weekend and online courses. With four campuses and four centers serving Allegheny County and surrounding communities, CCAC endeavors to fulfill its mission to provide affordable access to quality education and offer a dynamic, diverse and supportive learning environment that prepares the region's residents for academic, professional and personal success in our changing global society.


In 1963, Pennsylvania passed the Community College Act, thereby providing the legal framework for the establishment of community colleges in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. One year later, the Allegheny County Board of School Directors met to begin the process of creating a community college in Allegheny
County by voting to ask the county to be the local sponsor. The following year, a plan was submitted to the state, and on May 18, 1965, the "People's Bond Issue," requesting Allegheny County residents to approve funding for a community college, passed with 66 percent 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.

On December 8, 1965, the first 15-member college Board of Trustees was sworn into office. The board moved quickly to get the college up and running within a year. The college's first president, Kermit C. Morrissey, PhD, was named, the first two college locations were chosen and vice presidents were hired for those campuses. After sifting through over 700 applications, the college hired 59 full- and 16 part-time faculty members. On September 26, 1966, classes began at the new Community College of Allegheny County.

Allegheny Campus, established on Pittsburgh's historic North Shore and the college's only urban campus, and Boyce Campus, the campus serving the eastern suburbs, both opened in 1966. South Campus was established in 1967, with evening classes first held at West Mifflin-South High School. The following year, the campus was moved to McKeesport until its present complex was completed in West Mifflin in 1973. North Campus, which serves the greater North Hills, was established in 1972 and housed in leased facilities until moving into its present-day facilities in 1990.

To accommodate the college's rapid growth, CCAC expanded to include neighborhood centers. Acting as satellite facilities for the four main campuses, thousands of Allegheny and Washington county residents are served by four college centers strategically located throughout the region: Braddock Hills, Homewood-Brushton, Washington County and West Hills. Additionally, the college offers classes throughout the year at dozens of auxiliary locations.

For nearly 50 years, CCAC has offered the residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania a wealth of educational opportunities. In the college's first year, 1,505 students enrolled. Today, CCAC's enrollment tops 50,000, making CCAC one of the largest institutions of postsecondary higher education in the state. With educational programming expanded to include degree, certificate, diploma, transfer, workforce and professional development training as well as lifelong educational opportunities and access to 24/7 education through online learning options, the college is serving the region as never before.

As CCAC continues to expand its reach within the community, the college endeavors to fulfill its mission to provide affordable access to quality education, while offering a dynamic, diverse and supportive learning environment that prepares our region's residents for academic, professional and personal success in our changing global society.

Accreditation Statement

The Community College of Allegheny County is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The college curricula are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. All of the health care programs offered by the college are separately accredited by appropriate regulatory agencies.

General Education Learning Goals

CCAC's Learning Goals embrace the college's vision and definition of an educated person. The foundation for CCAC's General Education program is 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." An educated person is one who acquires and continues to expand upon the following (Assessment of Student Learning Committee, 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

CCAC's Learning Goals support the above definition of an educated person by uniting student learning experiences across all programs, courses and services at CCAC. The 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 the following:

  • 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; critical thinking and problem solving; quantitative and scientific reasoning; culture, society and citizenship; and information literacy.


Employ written and oral communication skills in order to convey clear and organized information to target audiences for specific purposes.

  1. Generate communication that addresses audience and purpose.
  2. Employ syntax, usage, style and tone appropriate to academic disciplines and professional environments.
  3. Present ideas in an organized framework.
  4. Develop ideas using concrete reasoning and clear explanation.

Technological Competency

Use digital technology productivity software, discipline-specific application and technology-mediated collaboration tools to complete tasks.

  1. Use technology resources to design, develop, present and publish information products.
  2. Employ technology resources to conduct research, analyze data, solve problems, synthesize information and inform decision-making.
  3. Use technology ethically and legally.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Identify problems, explore and prioritize solutions and revise priorities as a means for purposeful action.

  1. Identify and summarize the problem and/or question in clear and concise terms.
  2. Collect and review information from credible sources.
  3. Consider the influence of context, assumptions and underlying bias of resources.
  4. Synthesize and integrate information in order to support conclusions.
  5. When supported, articulate findings and prioritize solutions appropriately.

Quantitative and Scientific Reasoning

Apply appropriate mathematical and/or scientific concepts and theories in order to interpret data and solve problems based on verifiable evidence.

  1. Identify and extract relevant data from problems, experiments or projects.
  2. Organize data into tables, spreadsheets, graphs, symbols, equations and other visual representations.
  3. Analyze and interpret quantitative and qualitative data using mathematical/scientific concepts.
  4. Evaluate evidence and decide if conclusions based upon data are valid and consistent.

Culture, Society and Citizenship

Describe and explain behaviors and beliefs of various populations throughout the United States of America and the world.

  1. Discuss the role of diversity and equity in the context of the United States of America and the world.
  2. Review social and cultural conventions within their historical contexts.
  3. Examine the interdependence of people in their respective environments.
  4. Examine artistic and aesthetic values of various cultures.
  5. Explain the nature of a democratic society.
  6. Articulate the values of civic engagement, community involvement and the role of service.

Information Literacy

Acquire, analyze, organize and evaluate information through technological and traditional means.

  1. Determine the nature and scope of information needed for a specific task.
  2. Critically evaluate and organize information sources and content.
  3. Acquire and use information ethically and legally.

Nondiscrimination Policy

The College does not discriminate and prohibits discrimination against any individual based upon race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry or place of birth, sex, gender identity or expression, perceived gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, use of a service animal due to disability, marital status, familial status, genetic information, veteran status, age or other classification protected by applicable law in matters of admissions, employment, services or in the educational programs or activities that it operates. Harassment that is based on any of these characteristics, whether in verbal, physical, or visual form, constitutes a form of prohibited discrimination. This includes harassing conduct which affects tangible job benefits, unreasonably interferes with an individual's academic or work performance, or which creates what a reasonable person would perceive to be an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment.

Employees, students, third-party vendors and guests may report conduct that is believed to be in violation of this Policy or applicable law by contacting the College's Office of Human Resources, the Title IX Coordinator/Civil Rights Compliance Officer or such other officials as may be designated in other Board policies or administratively issued regulations and procedures. The College prohibits and will not engage in retaliation against any person who in good faith reports a violation of this Policy, provides information in an investigation of a potential violation, or otherwise engages in protected activity under the law.

Title IX Notification

It is the further policy of the College to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination based on gender or sex in the College's educational programs and activities, as well as the requirements of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), as amended by the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE Act). Conduct prohibited under Title IX, the Clery Act and the SaVE Act includes sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and acts of sexual violence, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. In furtherance of this Policy, the College will designate a Title IX Coordinator whose responsibilities will include overseeing the College's response to Title IX reports and complaints and identifying and addressing patterns or systemic issues revealed by such reports and complaints. With the exception of staff designated by the College to provide confidential professional counseling services to victims of such conduct, College employees are required to inform the Title IX Coordinator of incidents or suspected incidents of sex or gender discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence against a student, employee, vendor or guest of which they become aware.

Questions or complaints regarding Title IX issues may be directed to the College's Title IX Coordinator or the United States Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights as follows:

CCAC Civil Rights Compliance Officer/Title IX Coordinator
808 Ridge Avenue
Byers Hall - Room 317
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Telephone: 412.237.4535