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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.

Photo Gallery


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.

During the fall 2014 semester, 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