In 2016, the U.S. Department of Education awarded the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg a $2 million Title III Grant under the Strengthening Institutions Program. The purpose of the grant is to improve strategies for student engagement and success which includes enrollment, retention, persistence, and graduation rates for Pitt-Greensburg students, especially those who are first-generation college students and/or Federal Pell Grant recipients. It will help fund the renovation of classrooms that will ensure Pitt-Greensburg remains on the cutting edge of technology.
A key component of the grant is a $250,000 dollar-for-dollar endowment match over the next five years by the federal government. This Title III Endowment match will increase Pitt-Greensburg’s endowment by $500,000, which will strengthen the Campus’s future. For the next five years, one of our fundraising goals is to raise $50,000 a year in order to secure each year’s match funds.
Technology has influenced the learning styles of today's students, increasing the potential for making the classroom experience more dynamic than ever. Today's instructional environment requires powerful tools to engage students in yet more active learning. Technological advances can provide instructors with a variety of pedagogical tools, enabling them to improve student learning in more sophisticated and effective ways.
Recent Campus Technology Updates
- Pitt-Greensburg updated more than 30 classrooms with appropriate technology that allows professors and students to collaborate in real-time classes--whether they are on campus or using remote learning options. These upgrades benefit every student and every faculty member in their academic journey together.
- Faculty met regularly this past summer to enhance their remote teaching skills in order to provide a positive learning experience for students.
- New hover cameras installed in classrooms throughout campus that further enhance remote teaching capabilities.
- A new studio allows faculty to videotape lessons for asynchronous viewing by students. The studio is equipped with a green-screen background, high-quality camera and microphone, and computer and software--which all allow faculty to prepare class that is professional in appearance without the hassles of dealing with technological issues.
- The 30-member Bobcat esports team now has a state-of-the-art gaming arena where they are practicing and competing. It is furnished with 10 23.8” high-definition LED monitors, 15 headsets, 15 gaming mice, and 15 gaming keyboards for their competitions. The space can also be used as a high-tech classroom when needed.
- Increased wi-fi access throughout campus, especially in outdoor areas and residence hall lounges.
We envision new learning environments that have at their foundation a consistent and reliable technology platform to meet the needs of today's faculty and learners. Instructors and students in these environments will be able to access tools and resources beyond the four walls of the traditional classroom, thus providing a broader, and potentially more global, learning experience.
The implementation of such learning environments on the Pitt-Greensburg campus would be a very public statement of the capabilities of the new underlying infrastructure. Designed as both practical learning environments and showcases for the exciting work that is being pursued on the Pitt-Greensburg campus, these learning environments would encompass a wide range of technology-rich features, including, but not limited to:
- Replacement of equipment in student labs, particularly Cassell Hall 210 and McKenna Hall – Computers need replaced every three to four years costing on average $35K – $36K.
- Incorporate a projection system in to 25+ classrooms.
- Install a newer and more sophisticated classroom and provide resources to do the demonstration.
- Money for software and licensing, related to each major, for a more hands-on learning system including Tablou – a digital business system; a more sophisticated SAP version; software for digital humanities.
- A new, state of the art, computer lab in the new science building.
- Expand the digital microscope labs.
- Install LCD Panels in McKenna Classrooms.
- Increase support for students in learning through hands on practice with different software tools (ArcGIS is the most prominent).
- Purchase of equipment, such as IPads or tablets, to be used in classrooms.
- Purchase digital Science equipment.
- Experiment with new digital pedagogy opportunities for faculty by giving them different types of environments to learn from.
- Keep all technological systems up-to-date.
- Increase Digital infrastructure, including network and switches.