Helping students to be career-ready: Career Exploration Workshops at Pitt-Greensburg

The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg will host students from the Greensburg Salem School District and the Jeannette School District at its first Career Exploration Workshops on Thursday, June 1.

Under the direction of the campus’ newly established Office of Community Outreach, the event will start with students arriving on campus at 9 a.m. for a welcome and introduction to the workshops. Students, who have self-selected into career-focused groups, will then attend Career Exploration Workshops that are led by members of the Pitt-Greensburg faculty. Lunch and a tour of the campus will complete the visit, with students returning to their schools at 1 p.m.

“Our goal is to create strategic partnerships with school districts in order to create a community school feel,” explained Audra Lewis, engagement manager in the Office of Community Outreach. “We want to build equitable pathways for students that support school districts in their goal to help students to be college and career ready. This is just the first of many programs that we will be offering to the school districts in our region.”  

Students were able to choose one of the five workshops offered:

“Save a Life” with Hands-Only CPR, presented by Amber Bugajski, instructor of nursing

Public knowledge of recognizing victims of cardiac arrest, activating the emergency response system, and starting CPR is imperative for the survival chance of the victim. This workshop will present the techniques of hands-only CPR and will empower participants to feel confident in their ability to intervene and help during a cardiac arrest emergency. Additionally, the educational requirements, the Pitt program, and opportunities for registered nurses will be presented to the participants. This workshop will focus on the relationship between nurses and community support for better health outcomes.

Teaching: What Makes For A Great Education? – Melissa Marks, EdD, professor of education

“What is a ‘great education’ and can one obtain that?” are among the questions that students will seek to answer in this workshop. Using pictures only, students will “draw what education looks like.” Participants will also explore what teacher behaviors promote or detract from students’ learning. They will also evaluate their own dispositions as potential teachers. Finally, fueled by the discussion, students will write notes to their favorite teachers.

Just Write – Lori Jakiela, MFA, professor of English and creative writing, and David Newman, MFA, assistant professor of creative and professional writing

Published authors Lori Jakiela and David Newman will provide a vibrant, encouraging, supportive space for these young writers to come together and discover the joy of writing. Participants will engage with a published work by a professional writer, then free-write using a writing prompt and their own experiences. After the opportunity to make brief revisions, the students will be given the option to share their work with the group. Jakiela and Newman will provide feedback on the written pieces and will answer questions about writing, publishing, etc.

Public Service, Politics, and Policy—From Passion To Career – Paul Adams, PhD, associate professor of political science and chair of the Behavioral Sciences Division

Presented via Zoom, this workshop will have students working in groups to think about and discuss careers, types of jobs, and fields that apply to majors and disciplines in the social sciences. Pitt-Greensburg alumni will also participate to share their experiences. The overall goal is to dispel myths about the lack of employment opportunities in certain majors and fields and to educate the participants about the wide variety of options available through the social sciences (political science, public policy, etc.). The ultimate goal is to show students how to turn their passions for subjects into successful careers.

Natural Sciences Activities, presented by Christie Orlosky, PhD, part-time instructor of natural science

Students in this workshop will use a variety of skills, including observation, inference, prediction, and communication, to solve scientific problems. For example, they will be connected together and have to figure out how to untangle themselves—which will illustrate scientific principles. Participants will also use three solutions (water, vinegar, and baking soda) to determine which will dissolve Alka-Seltzer tablets the fastest.

About the Office of Community Outreach at Pitt-Greensburg:

Engagement Manager Audra Lewis and Engagement Coordinator Erica Samios staff the Office Community Outreach at Pitt-Greensburg. Their mission is to serve as a center where students acquire 21st-century skills to succeed in a global economy and empower students to be productive citizens.  At the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, they are building a framework for students to prepare for the workforce and post-education opportunities through strategic partnerships with community stakeholders and University partners by providing relevant educational opportunities for under-served and under-represented students. Their vision is dedicated to building equitable pathways for all students to reach their full potential by affording students opportunities to close the global achievement gap. Funding for the Office of Community Outreach was made possible through a Richard King Mellon Foundation grant.

About the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg:

Founded in 1963, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is a publicly assisted, four-year, liberal arts college in southwestern Pennsylvania. Pitt-Greensburg offers 31 baccalaureate degree programs, including new majors in data analytics, nursing, and healthcare management, as well as 31 minors and four certificate programs. With nearly 1,400 students, more than 10,000 alumni, and faculty and staff numbering 260, Pitt-Greensburg provides a vibrant, diverse community that is a dynamic model of a 21st-century liberal arts education. As part of the University of Pittsburgh system, Pitt-Greensburg offers the resources of a world-renowned university combined with the individualized and immersive experiences of a small liberal arts college. Creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit permeate the campus and extend into its many collaborative projects with the Westmoreland County community. Nestled in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Laurel Highlands, the campus is surrounded by the region’s outdoor recreation venues and rich history. It is a five-minute drive from uptown Greensburg and less than an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh.

Publication Date

Friday, May 26, 2023 - 11:30