CCAC to infuse $2M into Boyce Campus labs
Rebecca Kupiec's bachelor's degree from Westminster College in New Wilmington led her to a career as a molecular biology researcher in a lab, but she found the work less than gratifying.
“I wanted to go into the health care field and work with people rather than animals,” said Kupiec, 27, who began taking classes in the diagnostic medical sonography program last year at Community College of Allegheny County's Boyce Campus in Monroeville.
The CCAC program has provided her with needed hands-on training but the renovation of a lab in her program, which will include private areas similar to those in a hospital, will better prepare her to enter the field after she graduates with an associate degree in the spring, said Kupiec, a Butler resident.
Accreditation agencies are requiring that more technology be used in allied health programs, which is among the reasons CCAC is making about $2 million in lab renovations at Boyce, one official said.
“It's more challenging for the students in the programming,” said Richard L. Allison, dean of academic affairs at Boyce.
With 25 allied health programs offered at three of its four campuses, CCAC ranks seventh among community colleges nationwide in producing the most graduates annually in health professions and related programs, according to Community College Week, a Fairfax, Va.-based publication.
CCAC graduates about 500 students from its allied health programs each year, Allison said.
Most of the buildings at Boyce were built in the 1960s, so the labs have outlived their usefulness, he said.
In the old labs, students' backs face instructors in long, narrow rooms, Allison said.
The new labs will feature equipment to enable interactive lessons. Instructors will have computers equipped with Internet access and screen projectors, Allison said.
“With today's teaching methods, our new labs are going to be much more conducive to teaching,” he said.
CCAC recently completed a $500,000 upgrade of its radiologic technology lab, and one of the two analog X-ray machines there was replaced by a digital version, Allison said.
Work also recently started on the diagnostic medical sonography laboratory, he said.
Currently, that lab is two small rooms that require instructors to travel between them to supervise students, CCAC spokeswoman Elizabeth Johnston said. The $23,300 project will involve combining the rooms, she said.
The most expensive project will be a $1.2 million renovation of the chemistry laboratory, which will be relocated to space beside the physics lab. The old chemistry lab space will be used to expand biology labs, Allison said.
Because its paramedic program recently became a for-credit program, CCAC is adding a $265,900 paramedic lab.
Construction on the labs will be finished by December, Johnston said.
The college also is planning to renovate one chemistry and two biology labs at its South Campus in West Mifflin, but those labs, which are 30 to 40 years old, are used by any student taking science classes, said Brenda S. Trettel, dean of academic affairs at the South Campus.
The model for those labs, as well as those at Boyce, will be labs at the $20 million K. Leroy Irvis Science Center that CCAC opened in the spring on its Allegheny Campus in the North Side, Trettel said.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at 412-380-5662 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.