Advising Certification and Training Program

The University of Pittsburgh Advising Certification and Training Program (Pitt ACT) is a suite of online onboarding and training materials designed for faculty and staff at Pitt who work with students in an advising and mentoring capacity, the main goal of which is to help standardize the practice of advising and mentoring across Pitt. The project is funded by a Pitt Seed Grant and is a large-scale collaboration between the Office of the ProvostThe University Center for Teaching and Learning, and undergraduate academic and advising units across the University.

The program will launch at the 2021 Mentoring and Advising Summit, where advisors and mentors will be able to access the Advising and Mentoring Foundations level course via the Canvas Learning Management System.  Advising and Mentoring Foundations is the first level in the training program, with future levels on the horizon.

Watch the Program Introduction from Provost Ann E. Cudd

Team Members

  • April Belback, Director of Undergraduate Advising and Mentoring (PI), provides oversight of the project, leads the workgroup, and plans to launch the program at the 2021 Mentoring and Advising Summit, with an effort following University-wide.
  • Lindsay Onufer, Program Manager, Assessment of Teaching Effectiveness, is a collaborative leader for the project's curriculum and assessment. Lindsay also provides expertise in instructional design.

Workgroup on Advising Training
The following workgroup members were appointed by the Directors of Advising Committee and assist in developing curriculum for the project.

  • Stephanie Crespo, Department of Psychology
  • Ed Giles, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
  • Susan Gleason, University of Pittsburgh Bradford
  • Devin Kiska, Swanson School of Engineering
  • Michele Lagnese, TRIO Student Support Services 
  • Jennifer Marco, Office of University Registrar
  • Susan Meyer, Interprofessional Center for Health Careers
  • Danielle Richardson, School of Computing and Information 
  • Brett Soltysiak, Office of the Provost 
  • Jessica Wandelt, Department of Biological Sciences

Who will participate in the training?

  • All new advisors and mentors at the University of Pittsburgh will be required to take the Pitt ACT Program's Advising and Mentoring Foundations training upon the start of their employment as part of their onboarding.  
  • Anyone in an advising and mentoring role at Pitt is welcome to take part in the training. The training will also be available to come back to should a person want to revisit any information or topics throughout their advising and mentoring journey at Pitt.
  • The training will include resources to supplement the information provided, available in the modules and on the Advisor Toolbox website.

How many modules will encompass the Advising and Mentoring Foundations level training? 

The modules were developed based on competency areas identified by the Workgroup on Advising Training and on the NACADA core competency model

The competency areas for the Advising and Mentoring Foundations level training will be carried through for future higher levels, as well. For this training, you can expect to complete (in the following sequence):

  • Module One: Advising at Pitt
  • Module Two: University Policy and Procedures
  • Module Three: Academic Programs and Requirements
  • Module Four: Technology for Student Success
  • Module Five: Campus Resources
  • Module Six: Advising Profession and Practice