Improved Access

Pitt's strengths and resources ought to be an asset to everyone in the community. Ensuring that our neighbors benefit from their proximity to Pitt depends on how we open our doors to residents, how we work with local businesses, and how we serve the community. 

Guided by community input, we are focusing on five priorities:

Increase Awareness of Community Access to Pitt Facilities and Programs

To increase awareness of community access to Pitt facilities and programs, Pitt commits to:

  • Improve publicity about community programs and offerings
  • Develop a communications strategy to promote community access to Pitt facilities and programs
  • Make public presentations about Pitt research and education opportunities
  • Develop a “community course catalog” for public programs and workshops

Cataloging Community Resources

There are no borders or boundaries when it comes to learning from each other and using that knowledge to address community challenges. 

Using our Engagement & Outreach Map, you can explore Pitt programs and partnerships that reach from local to global.

Screenshot of Pitt's Engagement and Outreach map: a map of the Pittsburgh region with pins for programs and activities associated with Pitt engagement and outreach.

Grow Existing Community Programs

To grow existing community programs, Pitt commits to:

  • Connect campus partners with community members to expand program access to Oakland residents
  • Maintain the Pitt Community Garden in a highly visible location
  • Provide better communication about and connection to current community serving programs

Community Programs

Pitt currently offers a wide range of programs to fulfill its community service mission. From legal assistance and dental health to business development and college access, Pitt connects campus resources with community strengths to create opportunities for both.

Legal Assistance

Pitt Law is dedicated to engaging, serving, and partnering with local, national, and global communities. Through legal clinics, second and third year law students work under the supervision of full-time faculty attorneys to assist low-income clients in cases across family law, health law, immigration law, and more.

Dental Health

The School of Dental Medicine provides nearly $4 million in fee savings for local patients. Through its Student Community Outreach Program and Education (SCOPE) program, dentists-in-training provide necessary dental care to more than 1,900 underserved patients throughout the region.

Business Development

The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE) offers a dynamic mix of consulting, education, and networking opportunities for local entrepreneurs, including the Small Business Development Center.

College Admissions

College in High School enables high school students to earn college credit at a fraction of the cost. The Pittsburgh Admissions Collaborative provides a pathway to admission for students of Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Promote and Create Opportunities for Local Businesses and Entrepreneurs

To promote and create opportunities for local businesses and entrepreneurs, Pitt commits to:

  • Identify and support minority- and women-owned businesses interested in working with Pitt 
  • Engage Oakland Business Improvement District as a liaison to local small business owners
  • Determine neighborhood-serving commercial tenants for University buildings
  • Promote local businesses and minority retail business tenanting in the Innovation District buildings
  • Identify local business opportunities within Pitt facilities
  • Recognize small businesses at athletic events
  • Work with the City to create opportunities for two-day event business licenses
  • Work with the City to establish opportunities for licensed food carts and trucks
  • Host additional Pitt construction management training for local minority, disadvantaged, and small businesses
  • Study options to develop apprenticeship and employment opportunities with local unions
  • Study opportunities to develop a “Smallman Galley” type space in University dining

Diversifying Economic Opportunity

We are working to increase the share of Pitt vendors that are minority- and women-owned businesses, with special emphasis on increasing the share of spending on African American vendors.

Diversity spending data coming soon.

See more about vendor contracting diversity and other social justice initiatives at the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Neighborhood Hiring Initiative

The Hill District Community Engagement Center offers career development support to assist local job seekers and help minority-owned companies prepare competitive bids for Pitt contracts.

Create Paths and Programs for Volunteering in Local Community Groups

To create paths and programs for continuous volunteering in local community groups, Pitt commits to:

  • Maintain tutoring opportunities for preK-12 students
  • Continue hosting signature volunteer events
  • Continue offering volunteer assistance to community organizations
  • Mobilize volunteers for community efforts

Committed to service

Volunteer service is one of the many ways University of Pittsburgh students, faculty, staff, and alumni engage with the people and communities of Pittsburgh.

  • PittServes coordinates volunteer opportunities for students
  • Engagement & Community Affairs coordinates volunteer opportunities for faculty and staff
  • PittEnrich recruits School of Education students to provide reading and math tutoring in Pittsburgh Public Schools classrooms

Signature Days of Service

Each year, Pitt hosts five Signature Days of Service to engage hundreds of students, faculty, and staff in a day serving Pittsburgh communities.

Establish Ways to Make Pitt Facilities More Accessible

To establish ways to make Pitt facilities more accessible, Pitt commits to:

  • Provide opportunities for Oakland and Hill District residents to attend Pitt sporting events
  • Establish a food bank distribution center in Posvar Hall
  • Continue the Pittsburgh Public Schools Start on Success program
  • Study options to make more Pitt facility spaces available to the community

Opening Doors

Pitt’s facilities have the potential to be major community assets supporting greater health, wellness, learning, and empowerment for the residents of Oakland and surrounding neighborhoods. As our campus changes and grows, we will continually explore opportunities and strategies to make more Pitt facility spaces available to community residents.

Lifelong learning

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Pittsburgh is a thriving and vibrant membership-based community of adults, age 50 and better, who are passionate about learning.

Residential recreation

Community Leisure Learn (CLL), Pitt’s oldest outreach program, offers residents of 15213 and 15219 the opportunity to improve their overall health and physical well being. In addition to programs for young people and their parents, CLL also offers guest passes that allow local residents to use Pitt fitness facilities for free.

Questions about this dashboard?

Contact the Office of Engagement and Community Affairs (ECA) at or call us at 412-383-5600.