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Civic Advising

The Office of PittServes Civic and Community Advising mission is to empower students' exploration of the civic pathways through educational and civic opportunities on and off campus in partnership with university community partners, stakeholders, student leadership organizations, and faculty and staff. This office supports educational efforts to match students to experiences that meet their unique interests in the following civic pathways:  


Community Engaged Learning and Research


Direct Service 


Policy and Governance


Community Organizing and Activism 




Social Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Responsibility 


Schedule a Civic Advising Appointment


To learn more about the Civic Pathways or to get connected to civic learning opportunities on and off campus, schedule an advising appointment with Sydney O'Hara, the Civic and Community Advising Program Manager. 


Upcoming Opportunities


The Civic and Community Advising Program is excited to introduce the Civic Learning Transcript Distinction, which will be open for student applicants in the 2022 Fall Semester. The Civic Learning Transcript Distinct honors students' commitment to civic learning inside and outside of the classroom. This honor will live on a students' trancript after they complete the following requirements: 



Relevant courses will introduce students to the core principles of civic learning and engagement, and provide them with the skills needed for ethical, impactful, and engaged work. Students need to complete 3 courses for the distinction:

  1. Six (6) academic credits from Civic Learning courses. 1) Introduction to Urban Studies (URBNST 0010); 2) any other Civic Learning course.

  2. Three (3) academic credits from a Civic Learning + Engagement course.

High Impact Activities (Minimum of 3 activities)

These activities should enrich the student’s academic pursuits and provide opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills to pressing civic challenges. Please confirm your High Impact Activities with Sydney O'Hara, the Civic and Community Advising Program Manager. Each of the three activities must come from a different category. Activity categories include:

  1. Completion of the OCC Civic and Social Engagement goal area.

  2. Leadership role in a student organization that reflects a civic learning outcome (other community groups will be considered with approval by the Manager of Advising).

  3. A civic-learning related internship or fellowship.

  4. A civic-learning research project or other significant research experience (i.e. B.Phil).

  5. A civic-learning related study abroad or alternative break experience.

  6. Participation in the Civic Learning-Living Community.

Reflection Essay

Students should reflect on and share how the above courses and activities collectively contributed to their overall personal and professional development in a 1,500-to-2,000-word reflective essay. Students should provide examples of how these experiences enabled them to apply academic knowledge and skills to important issues that affect the civic life of a community.


Students interested in completing the Civic Learning Distinction will complete an online application form. Student progress will be tracked through an e-Portfolio that students design to showcase their Civic Learning work. A committee drawn from PittServes staff and Urban Studies faculty will review and approve completed e-Portfolios once per semester.


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