CCAC Courses A Way For Displaced ITT Students To Finish Degrees

Sep 19, 2016

ITT Educational Services headquarters in Carmel, Ind. is show Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. The company, which operates vocational schools, announced "with profound regret" it would end academic operations at all of its more than 130 campuses across 38 states.
Credit Michael Conroy / AP

When the for-profit college ITT Technical Institute ceased operations this month, officials at the Community College of Allegheny County decided to help.

“This is a group of people who are just blindsided by this, they have an interest in moving forward and maybe we can help,” CCAC Provost Stuart Blacklaw said.

Blacklaw said CCAC has several programs similar to ones offered at ITT.

ITT Tech ran two campuses in the Pittsburgh area, in Frazer and Robinson. Students from those campuses, and ones from as far away as Ohio, have inquired about CCAC’s programs, Blacklaw said.  

Though CCAC runs on a semester system, different from ITT’s quarter system, Blacklaw said the school will find ways to accommodate students.

One solution might be to give two-thirds credit for each ITT class, but CCAC officials are still considering other options.

“In some cases it’s a competence that you need … and you can test a student’s level with standardized testing,” Blacklaw said. “The other alternative is that a student would walk in with a skill set or a portfolio of work and we would assess it for credit.”

It’s also not the first time CCAC has worked with students after another programs folded, but Blacklaw said the number of displaced students is unusually high.  

To help students get back in the classroom before the next semester in January, CCAC is considering offering some additional eight-week courses that would begin in October.

CCAC will hold a special session for ITT students at its Allegheny Campus in the Foerster Student Services Center on Tuesday, Sept. 20, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Two other sessions will be held at the West Hills Center on Wednesday, Sept. 21 and Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.