Chalfant Hall to become physical campus to online students


Claire Kleffman

Historic Chalfant Hall at CCAC's Allegheny Campus will serve a new role.

Savannah MacAllister, North Campus Staff

CCAC’s virtual world will soon have a new physical home.

Renovations to Chalfant Hall Learning, featuring a professor that enhances ways of student learning through teaching, a teaching and learning specialist, a graduate student workspace, a huddle room – a private area that provides conferencing and collaboration techniques – and much more.

The CTL will benefit online students, making it easier to receive an education while living a busy life.

It will provide specific support for specific programs, promoting students to determine if they would like to complete their programs utterly online.

“When we move to Chalfant, we will be on the top floor of the building. The state-of-the-art facility will boast a video and audio recording studio, a training lab, and an accessibility lab,” says Millie Rodriguez, Dean of Virtual Campus. “This will allow faculty to come to the Virtual Campus and utilize the expertise of our instructional designers to create, or enhance, their online courses.”

CCAC and their faculty currently offer 16 degree programs and 14 certificate and diploma programs that can be completed solely online.

The CCAC Virtual Campus helps develop uses of technology for teaching and learning. It will also enable students to access a quality of education at any time or place.

CCAC is designing a college-wide program that is focused on improving distance learning, promotes educational excellence, and provides opportunities for faculty innovation. It will support continuous program improvement and increase a culture of scholarship.

There will be a common shared space, which includes a kitchen and break room area, conference room, and social space.

“Chalfant Hall will be a state-of-the-art teaching and learning facility, the first of its kind at CCAC. The entire building will encourage teaching and learning efficiency and collegiality,” says Endowed Professor, Ebony English. “The building also reflects administration taking substantial steps towards bringing technology access to the 21st century.”

One of the main goals of the Virtual Campus is to increase the opportunity for regional residents to obtain a college credential without putting the rest of their lives on hold. This is also important for those who work 30+ hours a week, have children to care for, and those who cannot commute every day.

Another main goal is to give 100 percent of online students an online orientation in advance to being able to sign up for online courses.

Making classes accessible to students with disabilities is a key advantage; they will be more attracted toward online courses because they are able to abstain from being seen first as a disability.

“Completing the teaching and learning mission and design with a virtual space that will allow faculty to create innovative online courses that are second to none,” Ebony. “The teaching and learning facility symbolizes that one college mission while simultaneously affirming the need for a pedagogical and technological revolution.”

Chalfant Hall of the Community College of Allegheny County, located at 915 Ridge Avenue, was built around 1900. Henry Chalfant (1867-1928), the owner of the house; graduated from Harvard in 1899, and succeed his father in the firm of Spang, Chalfant and Co.

In 1981, CHalfant Hall was added to the list of Pittsburgh’s History and Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmarks, the same year CCAC acquired the property.