Motivations & Opportunities


Academic Equity and Inclusive Excellence

  • Facilitate opportunities for students at all levels to engage in research, scholarship, and creative endeavors1
  • Reduce the credit and financial burden for completion, especially for students who change degree paths (intra-campus transfers).
  • Improved transfer (Pitt inter-campus transfer; access/affordability for those coming from community colleges and non-traditional students; simplify articulation agreements).

Student Success

  • Simplifying degree planning for students and advisors.
  • Shortening time to degree.
  • Increase graduation rates.
  • Encourage students' exploration and creativity across schools/disciplines leading to interdisciplinary research opportunities.
  • Incentivize students toward cross-disciplinary connections, experiential learning, study abroad/away and other high-impact practices.

Increased Transparency

  • Avoid pitfalls that an RCM-based budget model may otherwise incur by defining uniform learning outcomes associated with general education requirements.
  • Clarify value proposition of liberal education through standardized Gen Eds for faculty, students, and administration.
  • Leverage shared governance to define essential learning outcomes.

Improve Accreditation Compliance

  • Demonstrate compliance across all schools and campuses (not just a few) with Middle States Commission on Higher Education Accreditation Standards and Requirements of Affiliation, especially regarding “assessment of student learning and achievements [that] demonstrates [they] have accomplished educational goals consistent with their program of study, degree level, institution’s mission, and appropriate expectations for institution of higher education."2


1 Plan for Pitt, p.16

2 MSCHE Standards for Accreditation


Augment Equitable Practices to Enhance Student Success

  • Offer students more integrative understanding of core knowledge, skills, and awareness while developing competencies for professional success.
    • Promote student agency, flexibility, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • “Expand the pathways to enable traditionally underserved residents to participate in success.”1
    • “Honor the unique abilities, perspectives and challenges of students from all different backgrounds and life experiences and employing intentional and targeted policies and practices that acknowledge these differences.”2
  • Streamline transfer process for students from regional campuses into Pittsburgh-campus schools.

Define Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Develop unified Gen Eds that catalyze intentional essential skills development3 of all Pitt undergraduates to be measured and assessed across schools.
    • “Employers have consistently reported that although a solid majority of college graduates may be prepared to succeed in entry- level positions, far fewer have the full set of skills needed to advance or be promoted. The only way for campus leaders and educators to truly know if students are prepared to enter the workforce is to assess where students are on outcomes—at the beginning, middle, and end of the college journey.”4


1 Plan for Pitt, p.20

2 Collective Statement on Academic Equity, American Talent Initiative (ATI)

3 American Association of Colleges & Universities, Essential Learning Outcomes

4 How College Contributes to Workforce Success (2021) presents findings from a wide-ranging survey of executives and hiring managers that was conducted in partnership with Hanover Research. The survey explored employers’ views of what constitutes workforce preparedness, the educational outcomes, and experiences they value most when making hiring decisions, and their perceptions of recent graduates’ levels of preparedness for entry-level positions as well as for promotion and career advancement.