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Core Course: City-University Life

Students in the City-University Life class explored history and culture in Downtown Pittsburgh. Photo | Victoria A. Mikula Students and Jehnie Reis, Ph.D., at the fountain in Point State Park during a walking tour of Downtown Pittsburgh. 

University 101 Course Introduces Freshmen to College Life in Pittsburgh

All first-time, full-time Point Park students enroll in an innovative core course — City-University Life (UNIV 101) — designed to help them develop key skills for success, and prepare them to apply knowledge to achieve their goals as students living in Pittsburgh's diverse urban community.

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City-University Life card.

In addition to learning fundamental skills — communication, information literacy, problem solving, team building, global/cultural literacy and creativity/aesthetics — this course introduces students to the college experience and educates them about the city they will call home for four years, Downtown Pittsburgh.

Students in the City-University Life course enjoyed:

Off-campus visits

  • Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History
  • Mt. Washington
  • Pittsburgh's Strip District
  • PNC Park
  • Stage AE
  • St. Mary's Ukrainian Orthodox Church
  • The Andy Warhol Museum
  • The Heinz History Museum
  • The Mattress Factory

Guest lectures

  • Rich Engler — Pittsburgh concert promoter — spoke about the Pittsburgh music scene.
  • Bill Flannigan — executive vice president, corporate relations for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its affiliated organizations — educated students about the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, the Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance.
  • Robert Fessler, Ph.D. — psychology professor — discussed the importance of international travel.
  • Kelsey Garner — psychology major — spoke about her work with the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh.
  • Chris Moore — WQED-TV producer and host — spoke about Black Horizons, a series that examines issues that face Pittsburgh, the nation and the world and showed clips from his documentary, Wylie Avenue Days.
  • Brian O'Neill — long-time columnist, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette discussed his book, The Paris of Appalachia: Pittsburgh in the Twenty-First Century.
  • United Way professionals discussed volunteer opportunities in Pittsburgh.

On-campus activities

  • Created drawings of Pittsburgh's neighborhoods
  • Devised mock crime scenes on campus
  • Constructed models of Pittsburgh bridges with popsicle sticks
  • Explored research methods in the University's library

University 101 Features

Photo by Victoria A. Mikula, sophomore photojournalism major