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Student Development
Student Engagement

Inside the University of Pittsburgh's expansion of the OCC to their Business School

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Mark Visco Jr.

Chief Executive Officer

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Solutions Used

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Description

Pitt Business worked to retool their student experience outside the classroom so they can collectively track experiences that drive student success. In creating the Pitt Business Outside the Classroom Curriculum (PB OCC) and partnering with Suitable, the college can now provide their students with a seamless and interactive experience directly on their smartphones that will help them develop necessary skills at Pitt Business and Beyond.

About the School

Pitt Business is home to approximately 2,200 undergraduates and is primarily an in-residence experience. This is partly why their co-curricular transformation with Suitable was critical. This transformation is called the Pitt Business Outside the Classroom Curriculum (PB OCC), which helps students articulate their skills and provide a competitive edge when applying for internships and entry level jobs.

Challenge before Suitable

Students spend most of their time outside the classroom, so Pitt Business wanted to find a way to structure that experience and incentivize participation in High Impact Practices (HIPs). Research has proven that High Impact Practices (HIPs) are beneficial to students, such as first year experiences, living learning communities, ePortfolios, and much more. Even though Pitt Business offered these resources to students, they were not being utilized. Pitt Business needed a way to boost student participation and better collect co-curricular data so the college could understand what the non-academic drivers of student success are. To accomplish this, they needed to retool their technology and clearly define the signature experiences that Pitt Business students should receive.

Life with Suitable

Suitable’s competency-based approach elevated student participation with undergraduate business students by providing connection and structure that helps them understand the value of their participation. Suitable helped Pitt Business define a scaffolding of micro and macro achievement badges that clearly lay out how students will benefit from the PB OCC and demonstrates what a well-rounded student looks like upon graduation. Students can view their achievements directly on the Suitable mobile app. This intuitive experience keeps them on track but also shows them the skills they are developing as they progress through Suitables’s Experiential Learning Record (Co-curricular Transcript).

With Suitable’s intuitive mobile app and Experiential Learning Records that track progress in real-time, Pitt Business students now have a tool to showcase their co-curricular accomplishment and articulate their skills to employers. With Suitable’s technology, students can plan their experiences ahead of time and then use the web and mobile app to track their progress through each competency milestone. The app’s gamified approach is a proven way to effectively increase student engagement and provide a personalized pathway for each student. Not only can students track their own progress, but Student Organizations can also build communities and manage their membership’s engagement. 

Outcomes Achieved

With Suitable, Pitt Business is able to build a more robust student engagement data set and analyze that involvement data to draw insights on key outcomes like job placement, starting salary, academic performance and more. Plus, the app has seen strong adoption by students. Nearly three quarters of the students have engaged with the PB OCC so far this year.

Plans for the Future 

In the future, Pitt Business would like to use the data from Suitable to show students that there is a measurable impact when they engage in PB OCC. By giving students evidence based information, in concert with personalized communications strategy, they aim to create a behavioral change that benefits students long terms.