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Audit report: Wagner gives CCAC high marks

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Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 10:02 a.m.

The Community College of Allegheny County is a “responsible steward of the tuition dollars and public funding it receives,” according to an audit released on Wednesday by Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner.

In assessing CCAC's $140 million annual operation, Wagner focused her informal review on CCAC's fiscal policies and procedures. The analysis looked at areas such as tuition and student aid policies, fundraising, collection procedures, expenditures, operating reserves and bookstore operations.

One recommendation calls for CCAC to expand access to its popular health care academic programs, especially in the nursing school, where classes often fill up quickly because of the growth of the region's health care industry. Additionally, Wagner recommends that CCAC better target its advertising at populations most in need of affordable education options.

“Community colleges are one of Pennsylvania's most important assets, providing opportunity for many who otherwise would never have a chance to gain a college degree,” Wagner said, “Even with continual concerns over funding cuts, CCAC's leadership has run a tight ship and conducted its affairs with the interests of both students and taxpayers in mind.”

State Sen. Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, a CCAC board member and treasurer, said the audit reflects positively on the school.

“For many, many years, we have had low tuition rates compared to many other community colleges in the state. CCAC also has programs for displaced workers and volunteer fire training programs that have no tuition,” Costa said.

Rick Wills is a reporter for Trib Total Media.

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