Community Engagement

Families and students at a Maker's Fair event

Creating Positive Change in the Community

The Pitt School of Education aims to ignite learning in the community through several different avenues and strategies, including our centers, research-practice partnerships, the Falk Laboratory School, and our strategic partnerships.

Our practices prioritize authentic partnerships within and beyond Pittsburgh communities. Our community engagement is grounded in reciprocity, as we believe we should learn with and learn from the community members we serve. 

Community Leisure Learn

Community Leisure Learn offers free or reduced cost health and wellness programs for children and adults in the Pittsburgh area. The program draws on the expertise of faculty and staff in the Pitt School of Education's Department of Health and Human Development. Established over 50 years ago, it is the oldest community outreach program at the University of Pittsburgh. 

The Kinloch Commons for Critical Pedagogy and Leadership

The Kinloch Commons is committed to the urgent leadership and pedagogy questions of our time, advancing freedom study and praxis across organizational, institutional, community, and disciplinary contexts. As a connector and a hub for people and organizations to develop and support their aims, The Kinloch Commons provides a rich, stable curriculum of workshops, roundtables, lectures, and other offerings.

Community Engagement Centers

The Community Engagement Centers at the University of Pittsburgh create welcoming spaces in Pittsburgh neighborhoods where the community can access the university's resources. Centers exist in the neighborhoods of Homewood and the Hill District. We seek to be a strong community partner by being an asset to the community, doing work that is mutually beneficial, and making the commitment to build strong partnerships over time. 

MuseumLab Project

The MuseumLab is a place for older kids (ages 10+) to work with makers to create everything from woodworking, to art, to software. The MuseumLab is located at the former Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny in the Northside, which is located next to the Children's Museum in the Northside neighborhood. We are an active partner in the project, as students in our graduate program and faculty researchers are exploring the impact of learning through the informal, out-of-school environment of the maker lab space.

Networks, Services, and Key Partnerships

Collaborative for Evaluation and Assessment Capacity 

The Collaborative for Evaluation and Assessment Capacity (CEAC) provides evaluation and assessment services for educational organizations, social and human services agencies, foundations, and other programs involved with children and youth. The community benefits from our affordable evaluation and assessment alternatives, while our faculty and graduate students who conduct the work benefit from professional development and work-study experience.

Comparative and International Education Society

The Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) is a global association for educators and practitioners whose professional work is built on cross-disciplinary ideas, systems, and practices in international education. The society has over 3,000 members around the world.

Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate

The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) is a consortium of over 100 colleges and schools of education across the Untied States and Canada. Members have resources to examine the EdD degree through dialog, experimentation, and evaluation.

Environmental Justice Pathway: Empowering Students Through Relevant and Agentic Data Science Lessons

The project, titled "Environmental Justice Pathway: Empowering Students Through Relevant and Agentic Data Science Lessons," seeks to provide teachers nationwide with actionable lessons for the K-8 classroom. Funded by the Grable Foundation, it is part of a research-practice partnership involving the Pitt School of Education and others. 

Institute for International Studies in Education

The Institute for International Studies Education supports comparative, international, and development education through academic events and visiting scholars.

Institute for Learning

The Institute for Learning helps educators bring what research tells us about teaching and learning into classrooms to help students grow their intelligence and reach the high standards demanded by today's colleges and workforce.

Justice Scholars Institute

The Justice Scholars Institute is a partnership with local high schools. It prepares students for college success by offering courses for college credit, college readiness opportunities, campus visits, and research and service-learning projects focused on social problems

Justice-Focused Computational Thinking Pathways for Middle School English Language Arts

The project, entitled Justice-Focused Computational Thinking Pathways for Middle School English Language Arts, seeks to infuse computer science principles into middle school English Language Arts classrooms. 

Learning Research and Development Center

The multidisciplinary Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) allows scientists to study learning in its cognitive, neural, social, and organizational aspects.

Maximizing Adolescent Potentials

Maximizing Adolescent Potentials (MAPS) is a research, public service, and training program dedicated to the prevention of drug and alcohol problems among youth, the promotion of adolescent mental health, and the development of capable young people. MAPS works with schools, families, communities, children, and adolescents in a variety of settings.

Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center

BE FIT PITT researches numerous ways to help students, faculty, staff, and the community fight obesity and use tools that help with weight management.

Reading Center

The Reading Center located in Wesley W. Posvar Hall serves as a resource facility within the School of Education. The Center currently holds teacher manuals, student texts, diagnostic testing and standardized testing materials for reading, professional books, and children's literature.

Erin Duffy Omcikus, the assistant director of the Reading Center, can help with referrals for families for private tutoring year-round. The "going rate" for private tutoring is around $40 per hour.

Remake Learning

Remake Learning Pittsburgh is a network of people and organizations aiming to spark learning practices for young people that are engaging, relevant, and equitable in our era of rapid social and technological change. The organization includes academics, artists, educators, technologists, and parents who are working together to think differently about 21st century teaching and learning. Pitt Education Dean Valerie Kinloch is a Co-Chair of Remake Learning and, in addition, the school has a PhD student who is a ReMake Learning Fellow. The fellow collaborates and does research with ReMake on their problems of practice. 

Tri-State Area School Study Council

The Tri-State Area School Study Council is one of the oldest and largest study councils in the nation. With more than 100 school districts, intermediate units, vocational-technical schools, dioceses, colleges, and private schools as members, the Tri-State Council helps to improve educational opportunities for children by helping to strengthen school organization and administration. The council holds workshops, conferences, and lectures, as well as consultation services.

Western Pennsylvania Forum for School Superintendents

The Western Pennsylvania Forum of School Superintendents facilitates a relationship among school leaders that is unprecedented. These chief educational officers and school superintendents have examined important ideas together and with experts, learned from each other, confronted new challenges within a professional peer group, and shared their innermost thoughts in a safe and trustful environment.

Western PA Writing Project

The Western PA Writing Project is a nonprofit, teacher-centered professional development program that is affiliated with the National Writing Project. Our faculty who participate are committed to improving the teaching and learning of writing in schools and communities throughout Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Green, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. The program has served more than 50 school districts, helping thousands of young people to develop their writing abilities and teachers to develop their own literacy and professional growth.

University Center for International Studies

The University Center for International Studies (UCIS) is a University-wide matrix organization that encompasses centers for area studies and centers on topical specializations in international studies. It coordinates international education curricula and provides support services such as the Study Abroad Office.