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Letter to editor in the P-GEdit

Quality education

In response to the April 2 story "Home and Away: College-Bound Kids Don't Stray Far From Home": I was fascinated to see that, while Community College of Allegheny County is the top choice for local high school graduates of the class of 2005, the choice is attributed in the body of the article to a single factor: cost.

It's true a student can save a significant amount of money at CCAC, but the school offers an educational experience that is more than equal to the first two years at a four-year school.

Students can commute to school, easing the transition into college, a concern for some of them. Classes for many introductory courses are smaller at CCAC, providing individual attention that is not available in a lecture hall shared by hundreds of other students. Experienced faculty teach these smaller classes, not graduate assistants, who may be very good, but who teach with very little experience to guide them. CCAC faculty are committed solely to teaching students; they do not divide their time between their students and their own research.

CCAC is the top choice for the county's graduates because it offers a wide range of quality classes at reasonable prices, and it offers results. Last year, a survey showed that 97 percent of our graduates fully or partially accomplished their objectives at CCAC, with about 25 percent transferring to four-year institutions to pursue additional degrees.

Our graduates know that it's more than the low cost that makes CCAC a great value.

STEPHEN H. WELLS Assistant Professor of English CCAC South Campus West Mifflin

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MediaEdit

  • CCAC says it gave proper notice to African-American Chamber, June, 2006, P-G,
Community College of Allegheny County said Friday that it did not not give late notice to the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania about a contract bid in January, 2006. But the head of the chamber disputed that and insisted the group's members were unfairly placed at a disadvantage in seeking the work.

InsightsEdit

Proctor named CCAC vice president, diversity officerEdit

Monday, August 06, 2007, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Community College of Allegheny County has appointed the chairman of its Africana & Ethnic Studies department as the college's new vice president and chief diversity officer.

Ralph Proctor, who had served as department chairman since 2001, was tapped to become the chief diversity officer after serving in that position in an interim capacity for the last year.

In his new role, Mr. Proctor will report to the president and work on implementing a comprehensive diversity plan for students, faculty and employees.

Mr. Proctor is the former assistant dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and once served on the Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission.

DetailsEdit

Workforce EffortsEdit

CCAC to lead workforce initiative By Bill Zlatos TRIBUNE-REVIEW Thursday, June 12, 2008

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The Community College of Allegheny County will lead local workforce development efforts, previously scattered among other groups, as part of a partnership to be announced today.

"We were involved in it (before)," said Tom Santone, chairman of CCAC's board of trustees. "We weren't in charge of it. We suggested humbly to the chief executive and to the mayor that CCAC was the right place to head that workforce initiative."

Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and CCAC President Alex Johnson are scheduled to make the announcement at 9 a.m. today.

"It seems to streamline access so people can get what they need without going through many stops or channels," said Phil Cynar, a spokesman for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

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Santone said the move establishes CCAC as a resource for workforce development throughout the region.

"It will link directly the workforce leaders at CCAC with the economic development leaders of the county and work through the mechanism in a more effective manner," he said

As part of the plan, the college would locate one of its senior executives in the county's Office of Economic Development in the Regional Enterprise Tower, Downtown.

"Rather than having disparate places for employers to look for workers, we want to create this central source to recruit employers into the region, to create custom training for new and existing employers, to be much more active to our current business community to see how we can assist in their workforce needs," Santone said.

Donald F. Smith Jr., university director of economic development for the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, praised the move.

"There are still a tremendous number of jobs that require a certificate or associate degree," he said, "and the community colleges are a great avenue for supplying those kind of workers, and there are good jobs for those workers."

CCAC awards more than 400 students a year certificates or degrees in health care, including nursing, respiratory therapy and radiation technician.

The college trains about 23,000 workers a year through programs sponsored by employers.

Bill Zlatos can be reached at bzlatos@tribweb.com or 412-320-7828.

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