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Academic Advising at Pitt: A Framework

The following framework identifies essential elements needed for a collaborative and holistic advising experience. It was created to provide: 

  • students with what they can expect of advising across the university while also honoring the autonomy and individuality of each advising unit.  
  • advisors and administrators with shared values, goals, and responsibilities to guide our practices and promote consistency for students and advisors. 

University of Pittsburgh Advising Mission Statement 

At the University of Pittsburgh, advising and mentoring are integral to the University’s educational mission as we “aim to prepare students for lives of impact through educational experiences tailored to the specific goals and needs of each student.” As such, we advocate collaborative and holistic advising interactions.

University of Pittsburgh Advising Model

As an institution, we champion the academic advising relationship by requiring that students meet with their advisor at least once per semester, but also encourage advisors and students to connect more often, as needed.  

The University of Pittsburgh’s undergraduate academic advising structure, as defined by NACADA, the Global Community for Academic Advising, is a decentralized, satellite model.  Using this model, each school, college, or division within the institution has established its own approach to advising.  Also, advising and mentoring takes place in the undergraduate colleges/schools, advising centers and specialized student support offices.  Last, we know that Pitt students often transition from one school/department/unit to another or seek additional majors, minors, certificates or support in more than one place.   

Pitt utilizes an “Academic Advising” hold on student accounts, which are automatically placed by the Office of the University Registrar each term and must be lifted by a student's academic advisor or departmental administrator before enrollment can take place.

Academic Advising Goals

Academic advisors are professional staff or faculty who actively engage with students to support student success and institutional objectives while also recognizing and respecting individual differences, lived experiences and varied perspectives. Our academic advising goals are to:  

  • apply student development and engagement theory while working collaboratively with students to enrich their educational experience by informing them about university resources;
  • co-create cohesive and comprehensive educational plans consistent with student interests, abilities, strengths, and goals as well as educating students to make connections across their curricular and co-curricular experiences;
  • advocate rapport with students to enhance equity, inclusion and the exchange of diverse ideas;
  • promote student understanding of institutional policies, procedures, and requirements as well as provide professional referrals when necessary. 

No single advisor or mentor at the University of Pittsburgh has expertise in all areas. We recognize that students should consult with their network faculty and staff during their academic journey, who may be able to advise them on the many opportunities available at our institution to academically engage and thrive at Pitt. Additionally, advisors should feel comfortable and confident making referrals across the campus community.

Pitt College Student Hierarchy of Needs

View Pitt College Student Hierarchy of Needs as text.