University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Program for Real World Action

“Your personal and professional journey will be greatly enhanced by the opportunity to gain real world experience, and to take positive action on campus, in our local, regional and national communities, as well as the global community. You will have the opportunities to connect your classroom instruction with the realities of the world beyond campus. To be sure, Pitt-Johnstown is never theory without practice or application.”

- Pitt-Johnstown President, Dr. Jem Spectar

A Well-Rounded Education

At Pitt-Johnstown we strive to help our students be proficient in four areas of development: leadership, involvement, service, and teamwork. Recognizing that graduates possessing these attributes are highly sought for employment and admissions to professional and graduate school, we have designed a Program for Real World Action to prepare our students to be competitive against their regional, national and international peers. The program provides students with a coherent and manageable way to navigate the collegiate experience that extends learning beyond the traditional classroom walls.

What is the Program for Real World Action?

This program is a University-wide initiative designed to guide students through a series of programs, activities and experiences that complement their academic studies. The program encourages growth within four areas of competency:

  • Career, Personal, and Professional Development
  • Campus Engagement
  • Civic and Community Engagement
  • Global Engagement

The Edge

Students who participate  receive a co-curricular “transcript” documenting their achievements. Students who fully engage with the program will be able to confidently articulate their out-of-class experiences to prospective employers and graduate schools and demonstrate that they have become well-rounded and marketable.

Participation Options

The program provides students with a list of programs and experiences that will help them achieve specific learning outcomes within each component area.  By offering thought-provoking, skill-building programs and events, students will have the necessary options available to fulfill the requirements of the program. Students get program credit for attending programs and activities (many of which they would do as a matter of course). Due to the diverse nature of the program's experiences, students are encouraged to move out of their comfort zone, thereby helping them grow and develop in a wide range of areas.

Developing a Plan

Students may complete the program in as little as 2 years, or they may balance the curriculum during their entire tenure at Pitt-Johnstown – the key is that each student has a plan for completion that works for them and fits into the academic schedule. To assist with developing that plan, students are assigned a Success Coach (a member of the Pitt-Johnstown faculty or staff) who will periodically touch base with them to make sure they are moving towards completion of the program.

Recording Progress

Through an on-line process, students keep a formal record of their specific efforts as they engage in activities and programs. Students’ activities are documented in an electronic record, many of them automatically, through the use of students’ ID cards and a card-swipe system. Students may also log into the RWAP database and manually enter a description of an activity that may fulfill program criteria.

Program Goals

Career and Professional Development

Learning Outcome: Student moves toward well-developed career plans while maintaining a balance between academic pursuits and a sense of personal accomplishment, positive decision making, and enhanced interpersonal skills.

  • Explore major, minor, and career options
  • Participate in experiential learning opportunities such as job shadowing, faculty research programs and internships.
  • Engage in self-reflection and goal setting

Campus Engagement

Learning Outcome: Student develops a sense of belonging to the University and explores opportunities for leadership and challenge among his/her peers.

  • Develop relationships with others
  • Engage in experiences that promote leadership development
  • Attend educational programs about the arts, culture, and, wellness

Civic and Community Engagement

Learning Outcome: Student is conscious of the community around him or her, and is engaged in how he or she can serve those needs and responsibilities.

  • Recognize the responsibility of being a part of a community
  • Become versed in community issues, resources, and local and national elections.
  • Participate in community service

Global Engagement

Learning Outcome: Student recognizes his or her role as a global citizen, with both a respect for and a desire to learn more from other cultures.

  • Explore Study Abroad opportunities
  • Attend cultural events and lectures
  • Learn the influence global issues may have on career decisions and plans.