Jul 24, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Planning

Registration & Advisement Office

The Registration and Advisement office is responsible for registering students for classes and for maintaining student academic records. The four campus offices provide ongoing advisement to students in the selection of programs and courses. CCAC encourages students to meet with an academic advisor before enrolling in classes. The advisor will review your program of study and the best course selections for that program. However, certain categories of students are required to meet with an advisor before enrolling. They are:

  • All new degree-or certificate-seeking students (i.e., students who have never taken college coursework).
  • Students who have not completed the developmental sequence.
  • Students with grade point averages (GPA) below 2.00.
  • Students who are changing their program of study.
  • Students who will graduate at the end of the term.

The following students may register without seeing an academic advisor, but are always welcome to use this service:

  • Visiting students from other colleges who have met the prerequisites to take specific courses. Students should bring an unofficial transcript or grade report at the time of registration.
  • Non degree-seeking students (with previous college credit) who wish to take courses for professional or personal improvement.
  • Continuing students making satisfactory academic progress.


CCAC has an open registration process, supported by an online registration system. It is the student’s responsibility to keep name, address and email information up to date.

CCAC staff will review the biographical and academic information on the registration form. It is important to make changes and corrections during each registration. Registration dates and times are posted each term. Students should register as soon as possible to ensure that they get the classes and the schedule they want. CCAC is supported in part by Allegheny County taxpayers. Student tuition is higher if the student’s permanent residence is outside of the county or outside of the state. Students need proof of his/her permanent residence.

Many returning CCAC students may register on the web. For more information, go to ccac.edu/online-services.

All classes offered at CCAC are listed in the fall, spring or summer credit schedules. Class offerings are also listed on CCAC Central e-Services or by using “course search.”

Classes are identified by alpha numeric codes and section numbers. Alpha numeric codes identify specific courses, while section numbers identify the time and location of each course.

  • Alpha numeric codes also identify the subject of the course (three letters) and its level of difficulty (three numbers). Courses numbered below 100 are developmental and do not count as college credits. Courses numbered 100–199 are introductory courses. Courses numbered 200–299 are more advanced. A complete list of the alphacodes can be found in the Course Description section of this catalog.

Once the registration process has been completed, students will receive an invoice listing the classes reserved and the amount of tuition and fees.

Course Registration Deadline

Students may register for credit classes until the first class meeting and online courses prior to the start of the term. Registration using CCAC Central is available up until one day before the class begins.

For courses that have met (including online courses), students may request the instructor’s documented approval and submit it to the Registration and Advising office for processing within two business days of signature and before the end of the first week of the term (or first two days of the course term for courses 10 weeks in length or less). Students who are on probation or suspension must also obtain permission from an advisor (probation) or a counselor (suspension).

Cross-Registration at Local Colleges & Universities

Cross-registration provides opportunities to enrich educational programs by permitting full-time undergraduate students to cross-register at other local colleges for courses not offered at their own institution. Participating institutions of the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE) include Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, CCAC, Duquesne University, La Roche College, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Point Park University, Robert Morris University and the University of Pittsburgh. If you cross-register, you will pay CCAC tuition for the additional credits, and you must pay special course or laboratory fees to the host institution. Full credit and grades are transferred to the home institution. Cross-registration guidelines are as follows:

  • Enrollment is limited to only one course per term/semester.
  • You may not cross-register after the end of the host institution’s add/drop period.
  • Approval of the designated individual from the home institution is needed.
  • Your advisor must check course eligibility.
  • You may not cross-register for classes at another institution in which you are already enrolled as a student.
  • Academic rules and regulations of the host institution will prevail.
  • While you do not acquire status at the host institution, you have library and bookstore privileges.
  • Permission is required from the home and host institutions to add/drop a course after the home and host institutions’ deadlines.
  • Cross-registration does not apply to summer or Fastrack courses.
  • You must be enrolled for 12 or more CCAC credits in the semester you are cross-registering.

Virtual Advising

CCAC students may meet with an academic advisor using the college’s virtual advising program. For additional information on the virtual advising process and to determine if you meet the technical requirements for virtual advising, go to ccac.edu/advising/virtual.php

Advanced Standing

If a student intends to apply college courses taken elsewhere to a degree at CCAC, the student must request an official transcript from those colleges and apply for advanced standing. These transcripts should be sent to the Admissions office at the campus the student attends. Transcripts become the property of the Community College of Allegheny County and will not be returned. CCAC does not provide copies of transcripts from other secondary and postsecondary institutions.

If advanced standing is approved for college credit, it will be entered into the college’s student information system as preliminary, and will be posted to the CCAC transcript once the student has completed at least one course for college credit at CCAC.

Advanced standing credits may be obtained in the following ways:

Transfer of Credits

If a student has successfully completed courses at another college, he/she may petition to have these courses count toward graduation at CCAC. These courses will not be listed on the student’s transcript until one course has been successfully completed at CCAC. Only CCAC credits are calculated into the CCAC grade point average (GPA).

Credit by Examination

Students in good standing who feel they can demonstrate knowledge equivalent to what is taught in a college class may petition the appropriate academic dean for the privilege of taking a special examination for college credit.

If a student wishes to challenge a course for which there is no standardized test, the student will contact the appropriate academic department at CCAC to inquire as to whether or not a test is offered for credit. The course must be listed in the CCAC college catalog and available at the campus. A student may not challenge a course that he/she has already completed, or for which he/she is currently registered. A student may only challenge and test once for any given course.

  • If a test is available, obtain permission to test from the academic dean at your campus. The dean may recommend another form of evaluation for prior learning assessment (CLEP or portfolio). Once permission is granted, the student must schedule and take the test within 60 business days.
  • If the student successfully passes the exam, the appropriate course and credits will be posted to the transcript. If a student is new to CCAC, the credit will not be posted to the transcript until at least one course for college credit  has been completed at the college. The grade earned will not be calculated into the (GPA).
  • A fee equal to the tuition for one credit is charged.

Portfolio Review through College Credit Fast Track (PLA)

College Credit Fast Track helps current and prospective students earn college credit at one of Pennsylvania’s Community Colleges based on prior work or life experience. Through an online state-wide website, CCAC students and applicants can create and submit an e-portfolio, which enables the student to document and compile prior learning for evaluation of credit. Students submit the e-portfolio, which serves to document the evidence that the student has mastered the learning outcomes for a credit course at CCAC through life and work experience. See ccac.edu/CCFastTrack or visit the www.ccfasttrack.org e-portfolio site.

CLEP, AP, USAFI and ACE Approved Military or Corporate Training

If students have met CCAC standards for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and/or Advanced Placement Tests (AP) of the College Entrance Examination Board and/ or taken courses in the United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI) or American Council of Education (ACE) approved military training, they may apply to have these tests/courses count toward credit graduation at CCAC.

SOAR (Students Occupationally and Academically Ready)

SOAR (Students Occupationally and Academically Ready) is a set of statewide articulation agreements allowing qualified high  school Career and Technical Education students to earn college credit. SOAR is designed to be a career pathway preparing students for high-demand, high-wage careers.

Students who have successfully graduated from a career and technical education high school can earn CCAC credits in certain programs by completing a CCAC admissions application, selecting the CCAC program that corresponds to their high school program of study, and submitting the following materials:

  • secondary competency task list coversheet, the completed secondary competency task list and the statewide articulation agreement cover sheet (these documents can be downloaded from gettingthemthere.com)
  • official high school transcript (showing 2.5 or better GPA in technical courses)
  • copy of high school diploma
  • any earned industry certifications
  • completed CCAC transfer of credit request form

New SOAR programs are added often. To see a current, complete list of which CCAC courses have been articulated for specific SOAR programs, use CollegeTransfer.net or visit ccac.edu/academics/soar.php

Financial Aid

Cost Effectiveness

Students who begin their education at CCAC can be assured of getting the most for their education dollar. CCAC students save $19,000 over public and $54,000 over private colleges and universities by spending their first two years at CCAC*. Enrolling in one of CCAC’s many transfer programs and carrying those credits to a four-year institution can save students tens of thousands of dollars on their baccalaureate degrees.
* Calculated from in-county tuition and fees for attending full-time for two years. Compared with regional colleges and universities, 2014-2015 academic year.

Combined with the college’s comprehensive financial aid programs and local scholarship funds, CCAC’s quality education is within reach of all residents of Allegheny County. Financial aid is available to qualified students who need financial assistance to further their education. Financial assistance is made available to students of CCAC in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study employment.

Students should consult the Financial Aid office on the campus they plan to attend or go to ccac.edu/financial-aid for full eligibility guidelines and requirements.

Students may be eligible for financial aid if enrolled in an approved credit program. Students applying for financial aid must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who accept loans as part of their financial aid package must participate in student loan entrance counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note. This information is available at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/whatYouNeed.action?page=counseling

Financial aid staff at all campuses are available to assist students in completing financial aid applications. Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid by the priority deadlines stated below so that funds are available in time to pay for tuition bills.

The priority deadline to be considered on time for financial aid is May 1 for the fall term and November 1 for the spring term. Applicants filing after these dates can still receive financial aid; however, priority will be given to students whose files are complete by the above deadlines.

All students are encouraged to apply for financial aid since the requirements for financial aid vary each year and with each program. Financial aid programs can assist students with tuition, fees, books and living expenses, depending upon the type and amount of funding available.

Financial Aid Academic Progress Guidelines

In order to qualify for federal financial aid (Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Work Study, Federal Stafford Loan, Federal Plus Loan) and/or CCAC funded grants, a student must maintain satisfactory academic progress as established by the college in accordance with federal guidelines. The entire academic record of a student will be considered in the determination of eligibility for financial assistance whether or not any previous aid was received.

For more specific information regarding satisfactory academic progress, withdrawals and refund procedures, visit the “Appendix A ” section of this catalog or go to ccac.edu/financial-aid/academic-progress.php.

Mandatory Student Orientation

Students are required to complete the online orientation prior to registration for classes at CCAC.

After students have registered for classes, students should attend the in-person orientation, which is available at each campus. CCAC strongly recommends that students do both the online and the in-person orientation to receive important information regarding services, resources and policies at CCAC. Students will also receive their Net ID, photo ID, and a campus tour. It is very important that students be aware of their privileges, resources and responsibilities before classes begin.

Developmental Education

Developmental education includes classroom instruction, self-directed laboratory work, individual tutoring, counseling and academic advisement. The purpose of developmental education is to promote basic skills in mathematics, reading and writing and uncover any other learning needs. CCAC offers two levels of developmental instruction in English, mathematics and reading. To ensure a solid foundation for college study, developmental courses require a C grade or better to register for the next course in the series or to use this course as a prerequisite for a course in another discipline.

Developmental Courses

Developmental courses are designed to help students learn the skills that are necessary for college work. Many students at the college have found that by completing developmental courses they were better prepared to deal with college learning. Developmental courses cannot generally be counted toward graduation for an associate degree, certificate or diploma; however, such courses at the 100 level may be used as general electives.

Enrollment in these courses affects only students’ eligibility for the State Grant Program (PHEAA), which requires full-time enrollment in college-level courses. State assistance eligibility is postponed until this requirement is met. Enrollment in developmental courses does not affect eligibility for Pell grants, CCAC grants or loans.

Foundation Skills

To help students succeed, CCAC faculty have examined the level of difficulty in their classes and the experiences of students who have taken these classes in the past. Their efforts mean that the skills needed for success in the classroom are well understood. These foundation skills are:

  • Reading: the ability to comprehend and summarize the main and subordinate ideas in written textbooks, to recognize the different purposes and methods of writing and to evaluate the ideas of the text author and the instructor.
  • Writing: the ability to write standard English, and to select and organize ideas into coherent paragraphs, essays and research reports.
  • Speaking and Listening: the ability to exchange or present ideas and to ask questions in standard English.
  • Mathematics: the ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide natural numbers, fractions, decimals and integers. Students should be able to use the mathematics of integers, fractions and decimals; ratios, proportions and percentages; roots and powers; algebra and geometry. They should also be able to formulate and solve a problem in mathematical terms.
  • Reasoning: the ability to propose evaluated solutions to problems. Students should be able to draw conclusions from information using inductive and deductive reasoning. They should also be able to recognize fallacies in reasoning in order to distinguish between fact and opinion.
  • Studying and Test Taking: the ability to set goals and priorities consistent with course objectives and to manage time efficiently. Students should be able to use resources outside the classroom in the learning process. They should be able to synthesize ideas, apply them to new situations and learn from criticism.

Courses designed to develop college reading and study skills include DVS 060 - College Academic Strategies , DVS 070 - College Reading 1 , DVS 101 - College Reading 2  and DVS 103 - Advanced College Reading & Study Skills . These help students acquire strategies essential for college study and provide instruction in basic comprehension and vocabulary skills. Students are required to apply various reading and study strategies in understanding textbook and supplementary readings. In all of these courses, reading levels and study habits are assessed. Strategies are then designed to develop the skills needed for a successful college experience. The skills developed include taking notes, doing research, studying for examinations, reading efficiently and increasing vocabulary.

Courses designed to develop college writing skills include ENG 089 - Basic Writing Techniques  and ENG 100 - Basic Principles Composition . ENG 089  helps develop skill in short and focused writing. This course is necessary if students have had little writing experience or if they have been away from the classroom for a long time. ENG 100  is a continuation of ENG 089 . In this course, students will practice organizing, writing, revising and proofreading short essays. Students will learn the skills necessary for writing unified paragraphs that develop a main idea. These skills are needed for success in all college classes.

Courses designed to develop college mathematics skills include MAT 080 - Arithmetic Fundamentals  and MAT 090 - Algebra Fundamentals . MAT 080  reviews arithmetic skills, including computations involving fractions, decimals, percents and ratios without the use of a calculator and begins the development of skills in algebra and geometry needed for higher studies in mathematics. MAT 090  is a continuation of MAT 080 . MAT 090  reviews algebra skills, including simplifying polynomial and rational expressions, factoring and solving equations and word problems. Students need these skills to be successful in all college mathematics courses.

Roadmap To Your Destination

Roadmap is a clear pathway to graduation, detailing the steps to completion in logical sequence and directing students to engage in specific tasks at key times. It focuses on what most students need to do to stay on track by offering two goal-driven paths—Career and Transfer. Support services vary for the two routes, and Roadmap clearly illustrates what to do at each milestone. For more information, go to ccac.edu/student-services/index.php

SEM-105 College Seminar Course

All first-time* college students must enroll in SEM 105 - College Seminar  within the first 9 credits at CCAC, with the exception of visiting students and students who have successfully completed 15 or more credits from another post-secondary institution. Dual enrollment students will not be required to take the course while in high school, but will be required to complete the course during their first semester at CCAC regardless of the number of credits earned through dual enrollment courses. Students who are admitted directly into nursing, joint union apprenticeship programs, and allied health and trade certificate programs are also exempt.

In this course, students explore academic strategies, culture, resources and expectations. Topics include career planning and graduation requirements. Students discover and use current college tools and services as the foundation for creating individualized academic, career and resource plans.

* First-time is defined as attending CCAC for the first time.

Job Placement & Career Services

Job Placement and Career Services offers and assists students with a four-point career planning path to success.

First, students can discover their career path. Job Placement and Career Services assists students in identifying goals, opportunities and objectives through exploration and education.

Second, Job Placement and Career Services assists students in building the resume and interview skills needed to be successful in today’s employment market. Assistance is provided individually and in small groups as well as in manual or web form for independent learning.

Third, students can use Job Placement and Career Services to gain valuable work experience by obtaining co-op, internship and work-study employment. Working in a chosen field prior to graduation is a proven indicator of success in finding employment upon graduation.

Lastly, by serving as a liaison between CCAC and the employment community, Job Placement and Career Services can assist students in finding their place in the job market. Job Placement and Career Services staff coordinate on-campus job fairs, information sessions and recruiting events, host an Employer Advisory Board, are active on multiple Departmental Employer Advisory Boards and maintain a CCAC-exclusive job website at www.collegecentral.com/ccac

Students requiring assistance in any aspect of their career planning and job search should contact the Job Placement and Career Services office on the campus most convenient to them.

Counseling Services

The Counseling Center offers career development, academic, personal and transfer counseling and referrals.

Stress management, time management, test-taking strategies, choosing a major/career/transfer school and selecting appropriate courses for transfer are just some of the issues that can be addressed.

The college provides counseling services at students’ request to help students grow and discover their individual potential and deal with the stresses of student life. Courses are provided in the areas of career exploration and academic performance. These services are designed to allow students to examine and evaluate the effectiveness of individual educational and career goals and to develop an appropriate educational plan.

Transfer Services

Many students transfer to four-year colleges or universities throughout the United States. Students should meet with a counselor as soon as they have identified the college they plan to attend after CCAC and the major they intend to pursue. Counselors assist students by suggesting courses that are transferable to four-year colleges and universities and/or assist students with making contact with the intended school for more detailed information.

Since most CCAC students transfer to schools within this region, CCAC has articulation agreements with a variety of institutions to ensure the transferability of CCAC courses. For more information, please go to ccac.edu/articulation/

Transfer services also include early contact with colleges and universities within the tri-state area. Each CCAC campus hosts college and university fairs where representatives from four-year colleges and universities visit CCAC to provide information relative to the admissions process, transfer of CCAC coursework and scholarship availability. Transfer services are housed in the counseling office of each CCAC campus.

Transcript Requests

CCAC’s Registration and Advisement office provides official and unofficial transcripts upon a student’s written request. The privacy of the student transcript is protected by FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), and as such it can only be released with the consent of the student. (Students must also be in good financial standing with the college.) Unofficial transcripts can be viewed and printed by logging on to my.ccac.edu. through the college website at ccac.edu CCAC Central e-Services.

Official transcripts can be requested through MyCCAC Self-Service. There is a $5.00 fee for each official transcript request.


Students are expected to apply for graduation by the set deadline during the student’s final term. Students will complete an application for graduation, which will be reviewed to determine whether students have met all the requirements of their program, have an Institutional GPA of 2.00 or better and have earned the minimum number of college-level credits required for their degree at CCAC.

The degree audits of students in good standing who have earned 60 or more credits will be reviewed by an academic advisor. Students who meet the requirements for graduation in their declared program will have their degrees conferred at the next available degree conferral date. Students who wish to “optout” may do so in writing to a campus registration office.

Requirements for a Second Associate Degree

Students wishing to earn a second associate degree must complete at least 21 additional credits at CCAC beyond the minimum requirements for the first degree and must meet all the requirements of the second degree.

Completing an Associate Degree after Leaving the College-Reverse Transfer

A student who completes credits at another institution after leaving CCAC may be able to transfer credits back to CCAC and subsequently become eligible for graduation. A maximum of 45 college-level credits earned at another institution within ten years of the student’s last date of attendance at CCAC can be applied toward graduation. If CCAC changes or discontinues a program, students must complete the reverse transfer process within two years of the date of that change, or must meet the requirements of a current active program.

Limitations on Sources of Credits for Graduation

For any degree, the college requires that a minimum of 15 credits be taken at CCAC, exclusive of Advanced Standing/Prior Learning. For a certificate or diploma, the college requires that a minimum of one-half of the credits required for graduation be taken at CCAC, exclusive of Advanced Standing/Prior Learning. A maximum of six credits of independent study at CCAC may be applied toward a degree and three credits toward a certificate or diploma.

Advanced standing will be awarded for prior learning that applies toward the requirements of a degree, diploma or certificate. The application of advanced standing varies by program. Discuss the applicatibility of transfer credits/prior learning with an academic advisor or program coordinator. Advanced standing includes transfer credits, credit by exam, portfolio, CLEP, USAFI, AP and ACE approved military credits.