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Program Overview

Make College Success Part of Your Future

The Justice Scholars Institute at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education provides a rigorous college prep experience for high school students from the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) district. Our goal is to enhance the college readiness and graduation rates of students through activities inside and outside of the classroom.

We Strive To:

  • Enrich students educational prospects by preparing them for future college success
  • Enhance students' writing and communication skills through a cross-content literacy focus
  • Educate students about educational opportunity as a social justice priority
  • Equip students with the tools to become change agents within their school, community, and broader world. 

See where our students attended college

Our Partner Schools

Collage photo showing exterior buildings of Westinghouse, Perry, and Milliones schools

The program is offered in partnership with:

Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy (Homewood)

PPS partner teachers at Westinghouse Academy: Mr. Sean Means, Ms. Angela Flango, and Mr. Vincent Werling.

Pittsburgh Perry Traditional Academy (North Side)

PPS partner teachers at Perry Traditional Academy: Mrs. Vicki Ammer, Mr. Jason Boll, and Mr. Kenneth Smith

Pittsburgh Milliones University Preparatory School (Hill District)

PPS partner teachers at Milliones University Preparatory School: Mr. Bilal Abbey and Ms. Shaquaya Gilbert. 

Our Pitt Partner

The JSI program is offered in close partnership with Pitt's College in High School program, which gives high school students the opportunity to earn college credits at Pitt.

Activities by Grade

Student in classroom

Students can participate in all four years of high school or a limited number of years. 

Grades 9-10

Students meet with college mentors and learn about how to navigate pathways to college

Grades 11-12

Students complete courses for college credit, college readiness programming, campus visits, participatory action research, and service-learning/community engagement projects

Program Components

School Support

Support of the College in High School courses at schools. Includes course enrollment, provision of academic support for course success, attaining needed resources for classes, and working with the school contact to address challenges and pursue opportunities.

Workshops and Events

Implementation of four Justice Scholars Institute workshops to take place across all three schools. Also includes coordination for any events that students may participate in through their involvement in the program and the College in High School students.

Teacher Collective

Development of a teacher-focused initiative to support transformative pedagogy with an emphasis on socially just institutions, curricula, and teaching practices. Includes a community of practice to foster a supportive environment that enhances our capacity to serve students’ post-secondary opportunities.

Out-of-School Time

Paid out-of-school (OST) opportunity for students to engage in conversations related to social justice and their community and to participate in youth participatory action research (YPAR).

Scholars' Support

Implementation of efforts to support students’ postsecondary aspirations, both at the pre-collegiate and collegiate levels. Includes support for the engaged scholars research paper process, college application support, and other activities to enhance prospects in the post-secondary transition

Research and Evaluation

Conducting empirical analysis to help understand educational experiences of students in the local context and to guide the success of the program. Uses community engaged approaches to engaged stakeholders in the research process.