Office of Engagement & Community Affairs

Neighborhood Commitments

The Office of Engagement and Community Affairs leads Pitt's Neighborhood Commitments, a place-based effort to build stronger communities and a stronger University based on long-term partnerships in Oakland, Homewood, and the Hill District neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. In collaboration with local communities, the University is making an investment in infrastructure, programming, and dedicated staff in these neighborhoods. Commitments are led by open and inclusive networks of community leaders, residents, and University faculty and students. Supported by neighborhood-based Pitt staff, these networks share a commitment to the neighborhood and work together to advance community agendas while enriching the University’s teaching and research.

man and woman planning together

The Community Assistant Program

The Community Assistant (CA) Program is an immersive, year-long community engagement opportunity for undergraduate students facilitated by the Office of PittServes and the Office of Engagement and Community Affairs. CAs commit to work with community-based, non-profit organizations to advance community interests through project-based partnerships in Homewood, the Hill District, and Oakland.

The mission of the program is to build and sustain long-term place-based partnerships between the University and community stakeholders, develop strong partnerships with community organizations, enhance capacity of organizations, inform students on methods to ethically and responsibly engage with the community, and develop student’s professional skill set.

  • - Community Assistants are selected for transformative immersion in a neighborhood setting

  • - Acquire a deeper awareness of place-making and community development challenges

  • - Apply academic and/or professional experience to an outcomes-based community project

  • - Support community-based organizations and neighborhood growth
    Learn concepts of community-centered leadership and root causes of urban challenges

Community Engagement Centers in Homewood and the Hill District

The University's Community Engagement Centers (CECs) ground Pitt's Neighborhood Commitments in the heart of the community. Acting as a front-door to Pitt, the CECs offer a vibrant and welcoming space to foster collaboration and house services, programs, and staff dedicated to the neighborhood. Based in the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Homewood and the Hill District, the CECs do not duplicate the programs and services already found in the community. Instead, the activities and programs offered through the CEC are designed to complement and enhance what is already available.

Commitment in Oakland

The University is proud to be part of the Oakland neighborhood and is committed to being a valuable partner. CGR leads and a facilitates a series of institutional level commitments as part of an effort to increase community access to Pitt programs and facility resources while enhancing Pitt's support of the community's agenda.