A Vision of Greater Excellence in Academics
In 2014, Pitt-Johnstown is a well-recognized academic leader, garnering acclaim for its high quality, responsive and distinctive programs that foster real-world preparedness. We enjoy this enviable leadership position because we have strengthened the quality of our academic programs and enhanced our responsiveness to changing times and the needs of our students, faculty and communities. Indicators of excellence are compelling. New and responsive programs have boosted the enrollment of higher quality students. The entering class in 2014 is much stronger with higher scores, grade point averages, class standings and other indicia of potential and promise. We are able to boast that a larger majority of our freshmen advance to sophomore year. In this regard, the current freshman-sophomore success rate of approximately 83% reflects a significant upward move from the earlier rate of 74% prevailing in 2007-2008. With greater attention to recruiting quality students and facilitating their success, we enjoy a six-year graduation rate of about 65%, a significant rise from the prevailing level of 60% in 2007-2008. We achieved these ends because our faculty enjoy a greater level of professional development support and recognition, as they engage more of our students in personalized learning experiences.
By purposefully unifying the liberal arts and the professions (as envisioned in our New Dimensions of Excellence plan), we can claim leadership in a relevant and meaningful niche – producing more real-world-ready graduates steeped in the liberal arts and sciences, and prepared for a rewarding life of fulfilling work and active citizenship. The University has gained greater prominence as a model institution through this approach. We have achieved nothing short of a more contemporary and relevant unification of liberal and professional education, traditional and contemporary orientations, theoretical and practical dimensions, symbolizing a distinctive undergraduate experience – second to none. Assuring the centrality of the liberal arts and sciences focus, while carefully embracing the imperative of professional training, has enabled Pitt-Johnstown to strengthen its competitive niche – appealing to career-conscious students, while maintaining its moorings in liberal education.
At the forefront of a highly competitive peer group, we enjoy an enviable reputation as a leading institution with a strengthened brand and a much sought after distinctive Pitt-Johnstown experience. We can certify, in even more assessable ways, that our graduates have appropriate critical thinking, problem-solving and reasoning skills, as well as mastery of oral and written communication, including enhanced capacity to use technology and research methods to gather, analyze, synthesize and communicate knowledge. We can claim more of our graduates enjoy a richer educational experience; a more stimulating intellectual milieu; significant internship, service and practical experiences at the local, national or global level; more opportunities to engage in undergraduate student scholarship, research and creative activities marked by extensive individually mentored faculty-student projects, capstones, portfolios and theses; a more supportive living-learning experience, including an enhanced first-year experience; a current, contemporary and responsive academic program mix and curriculum; a greater number of graduates engaged in rewarding and fulfilling careers, including the pursuit of lifelong learning opportunities; and, to top it all, more graduates involved in strengthening our communities and transforming our world.
Emerging from a period of transition, our institution is characterized by a vibrant Teacher-Scholar-Citizen Model where faculty, in their unique ways, add to the distinctiveness of the Pitt-Johnstown experience as they fulfill their goals. The faculty culture and climate are enriched by an ethos of greater collaboration, interaction and participation, culminating in an elaborated and expanded interdisciplinary community of inquiry, linking more faculty within and beyond the institution. The continual evolution of our faculty and staff in the historic journey, started 80 years ago, continues to be managed successfully as we build on that treasured legacy and position the institution for its centennial.