April Belback

  • Associate Vice Provost of Student Success and Advising

April E. Belback is the Associate Vice Provost of Student Success and Advising. She leads and implements an institutional collaborative vision for holistic advising, mentoring and student success by connecting campus innovators, advisors, faculty, and students. As Associate Vice Provost of Student Success and Advising, she leads professional development and training opportunities across the University and administers programs to support exceptional students who are at-promise. In 2022, she launched the opening of the inaugural "Student Success Hub" at the University of Pittsburgh, which aims to reduce equity gaps for first-generation, limited-income and underrepresented minority college students and build a campus where every student can feel they belong.  These include the Kessler Scholars Program, Provost Scholars Program, and TRIO McNair Scholars Program. Dr. Belback also leads initiatives such as the University Undergraduate Advising Committee (UUAC), Pitt ACT Program, the annual Mentoring and Advising Summit, the Program Impact Project, and the Pitt Transition Study.  

Prior to joining Pitt, Dr. Belback served as the Director of Advising and Division of Undergraduate Studies Coordinator at The Pennsylvania State University, Greater Allegheny Campus. Under her direction, the Advising Office launched a host of new campus-wide initiatives including the rollout of new training curricula and professional development experiences for academic advisers, orientation programming, and the formation of a campus-wide student success and support collaborative. Additionally, Belback served the campus as the Program Director for TRIO Student Support Services. Earlier in her career, Belback taught high school English, and was awarded “Educator of the Year” for Secondary Schools by the Fayette Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Belback leads a national community of practice of academic advising leaders for the Association of Undergraduate Education at Research Universities (UERU). She serves on the advisory team for the American Talent Initiative’s Academic Equity Community of Practice. She also serves on NACADA’s Advising Administrator Community steering committee.

A proud first-generation college student, Belback earned her DEd in Administration and Leadership Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a MSEd in Secondary English Education and a BA in English from Duquesne University. Her research is focused on advising, retention, student success, and leadership.

Representative Publications

  • Belback, A. (2023). Five Things Institutions Can do to Shift Towards a Shared Advising Model.  Academic Advising Today. 46(3).
  • Belback, A. E. (2022, December). Reflections from a new D.Ed. Academic Advising Today, 45(4).
  • Belback, A. E. (2021). The relationship between academic advising and student outcomes: A retrospective analysis of research universities.
  • Belback, A. E. (2021, February). “Advising students foreclosed to academic major decisions.” E-Source for College Transitions. 18(2).
  • Belback, A. E. & Spears. J. (2021). University of Pittsburgh “Forge Your Own Path Strategy.” In Fountain, C. (Ed.). (2021). Academic advising as a tool for student success and educational equity. University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.

Awards

  • NACADA Outstanding Advising Program Award, 2023
  • NACADA Outstanding Advising Program Award Certificate of Merit, 2022
  • Mid-Eastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Outstanding Service Award, 2015
  • Educator of the Year for Secondary Schools, Fayette Chamber of Commerce, 2013