University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Pitt-Johnstown Seal

Campus Life: Get Involved with Endless Opportunities


Encouragement Pays Off…

Families should begin encouraging their student(s) to get involved on campus, join organizations that they have interest in and participate in free seminars before they attend orientation. Research has proven time and again that recruiters and employers are looking for a well rounded individual who has a great academic standing as well as an impressive extracurricular resume. Encourage your student to stand out in the crowd, support them in their decision making and encourage them to get involved!
What is the RealWorld Action Program? 

The Pitt-Johnstown
RealWorld Action Program empowers students to develop a customized personal and professional action plan to achieve their individual goals and to develop as agents of positive change in our communities and our world.  The program reinforces the development of key attributes for successful participation in our highly competitive, rapidly changing world, where local and global are inter-connected. The Pitt-Johnstown RealWorld Action Program:  
  • Emphasizes the importance of developing and following a pathway for career and professional development;
  • Promotes and recognizes active engagement on campus, in our local community, our country and the world;
  • Recognizes and affirms efforts to develop habits of leadership, involvement, service and teamwork while acting locally or globally to improve our communities;
  • Facilitates students’ personal and professional development by augmenting or supplementing classroom learning with rich out-of-class experiences;
  • Tracks and documents students’ growth and development throughout college life;
  • Builds awareness of the importance of positive action -- beginning with the self and extending to the campus, our community and our world;
  • Furthers personal development in areas of leadership, involvement, service and teamwork;
  • Complements the academic record and provides a RealWorld Action Portfolio that reflects a rich array of out-of-class learning as well as overall engagement on campus, the community, and our world; and
  • Enhances prospects for success in an increasingly competitive world as the student presents prospective employers or graduate schools with a record of his/her accomplishments.  

What are the Program Components?  

The Pitt-Johnstown RealWorld Action Program consists of four levels of engagement.  

I. The RealWorld Action Plan for Career, Professional, and Personal Development

Every student will have the opportunity to formulate and implement a pathway for his or her career, professional, and personal development. Accordingly, the student will participate in intensive and focused career preparation activities, including career counseling, workshops, networking, internships, and mock interviews. This process should culminate in securing actual interviews and/or job placement opportunities in the real world after graduation.  

II. The RealWorld Action Plan for Campus Engagement

Every student will have the opportunity to formulate and implement a plan for involvement on campus as appropriate and will be guided and/or supported as he or she makes a positive difference. Students will have the opportunity to participate in over 70 campus clubs and organizations as well as in campus governance and numerous campus activities.  

III. The RealWorld Action Plan for Civic and Community Engagement
Every student will have the opportunity to formulate a plan for civic involvement that addresses or meets the pressing challenges and opportunities of citizenship in a democracy, as well as his/her obligation as a member of our local community. Students will have the opportunity to participate in desired forms of service to our community, and will be guided and/or supported as they make a positive difference.  

IV. The RealWorld Action Plan for Global Engagement
Every student will have the opportunity to formulate a global or international involvement that enables him/her to cope with the pressing challenges of our rapidly changing world. Consistent with individual interests, students will have the opportunity to participate in desired forms of global involvement, action and service. Students may elect to study abroad, engage in overseas service and/or participate in various international clubs and organizations. Other students may elect to study a foreign language, take international courses or complete various international service projects as appropriate.  

Key Program Attributes  

Throughout, the program reinforces, recognizes and affirms efforts to develop habits of leadership, involvement, service and teamwork while acting locally or globally to improve our communities. 
Leadership - There is a strong expectation that the student will exhibit habits of leadership, including curiosity, creativity, judgment, determination and integrity. As an emerging leader, the student will demonstrate ability to motivate and enable others to achieve common goals.  

Involvement - The program prizes involvement of an intense, sustained or frequent nature. The student will not be a by-stander-- not in his/her own life, nor in the affairs of our community and our world. S/he must take an active part in shaping his/her personal development as well as in participating on campus, in the community and in our world.  

Service - The ability to give one’s time and talents to a common cause is especially valued in the RealWorld Action Program. Therefore the student is urged to demonstrate a spirit of service as well as an appreciation of the importance of service on campus and beyond.  

Teamwork - In addition to being an empowered individual, it is important that the student be a team player, capable of working collaboratively with others towards shared goals.  

What are the benefits and how will the RealWorld Action Program enhance students’ undergraduate experience?  

Among the points of personal recognition are:

  • Eligibility for annual RealWorld Action Program scholarship award.
  • Certificate of program completion signed by University President.
  • Recognition at Graduation and Formal Ceremony.
  • Medal of Distinction for Superior Achievement.
  • Presidential Commendation for Civic and Global Engagement.
  • Strong portfolios may impress professional schools or graduate programs as well as prospective employers.
  • Feeling of greater connectedness and fellowship.
  • An enhanced sense of social and civic accomplishment.
  • Better preparation for life after college.  

How does the program operate?  

Through an on-line process, students keep a formal record of their specific efforts as they engage in myriad campus activities. Students’ activities are documented in an electronic record, many of them automatically, through the use of students’ ID cards and a card-swipe system. That registration of information is supplemented by descriptions and details students submit to the same electronic file. A set number of RealWorld Action Program points are assigned for all levels of engagement, with a focus on the values of leadership, involvement, service and teamwork. Students may submit RealWorld Action Program activities for points in one of three ways.

  • Students use their valid University ID at any campus sponsored event and receive RealWorld Action Program points for attending the event by swiping their card through one of the portable scanning systems that will be on hand at each event.
  • Students may log into the RealWorld Action Program system through the campus portal system and manually enter a description of their Real World experience in order to receive the points. Students can obtain instruction on how to submit entries online by visiting the RealWorld Action Program web site.
  • Students who are official members of a student organization, on an athletic team, will automatically receive RealWorld points.  

For every event recorded, students receive a set number of RealWorld points. On a monthly basis, each student receives an email summary of overall progress in the program, to include total points earned.  

In March, students that have a well-rounded breakdown of points in each of the four categories will be asked to submit a portfolio of their experiences. Students will be selected for special recognition based on their portfolio submission. 

Students are invited to contact the Office of Student Life for help and answers to their questions at 130 Student Union--814-269-7065. 

The RealWorld Action Program is just one out-of class dimension of the total Pitt-Johnstown educational experience, which has as its primary focus: academic excellence and high quality programs; an academic experience distinctly suited for each student in a unique setting; academic values of integrity and effort; and an academic toolkit for success in the real world, that includes effective critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills.   


What Our Students Are Saying About Pitt-Johnstown...

UPJ Undergraduates are
"hardworking, fun-loving individuals
looking to make a difference on campus one way or another."

Housing and Residence Life

Living on campus provides many advantages including convenience, the opportunity to develop strong social connections, and being included in a community that supports educational and personal growth in a safe supportive environment. All first year students are housed in one of the five large Residence Halls. Our first year residence halls are designed to maximize student interaction and to promote group activities.

Student Life

Pitt-Johnstown has more then 80 student organizations on campus that provides the opportunity to develop important leadership and interpersonal skills that can be transferred to real world experiences. The Student Government Association, Black Action Society and the Programming Board are just a few examples of organizations that can help get your student involved and on the road to making a difference on campus and in their lives.
  • By joining an Academic and Professional Organization your student will be exposed to current trends in their field of study.
  • Is your student interested in the fine arts? Have them get involved at Pitt-Johnstown!
  • Honor Societies can bring excitement to your student's experience while at Pitt-Johnstown.
  • Giving back to the community is critically important with the state of our economy, encourage your student to check out our service organizations.
  • Joining a religious organization is a great way to build a community away from home.
If your student has shown in interest in publications and media we have several organizations that they can join. 

Greek Life

Social fraternities and sororities provide students the opportunity to become part of a group that shares common ideals and promotes community service, scholastic excellence, and philanthropic endeavors, as well as opportunities for social activities and leadership development. Your student will have the opportunity to experience sponsored service activities, intramural teams, social events, and educational programs. The Greek system at Pitt-Johnstown is composed of five fraternities and three sororities that are governed by the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council.

Campus Safety - Staying ALERT

The Campus Police provide protection services to students, faculty, staff, visitors, and guests of the University. All Campus Police officers are certified through Pennsylvania Police Officers Education & Training Commission ( M.P.O.E.T.C.). Campus Police officers are armed and on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Duties of the Campus Police include protection of the campus community, enforcement of federal, state, and local laws, campus judicial code, and enforcement of parking rules and regulations.  The office also maintains a 24 hour emergency line (extension 7222). In addition, Campus Police provide the following services:  escort service, crime prevention training programs, lost and found, and vehicle assistance including battery jump kits and assisting with vehicle lock outs.
Emergency Notification Service
The University’s new Emergency Notification Service will be used to communicate though voice and text messages as deemed appropriate in the event of an emergency. Additionally, the University is able to send emergency e-mail simultaneously to all faculty, staff, and students. Please consider encouraging your student to subscribe today.