Center for Integrated Learning
Integrated Learning Innovation
The Center for Integrated Learning, established in 2022, as part of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh bridges communities of knowledge with communities of practice. Our mission is to further academic and professional excellence with innovation and collaboration. To accomplish this, we bring together interdisciplinary faculty experts and external global partners to drive research, experiential learning and community-based work.
The Center for Integrated Learning promotes learning excellence throughout Pitt Business. This mission is advanced by interdisciplinary faculty experts and external global partners from diverse industries together across multiple domains including:
- Cultivating a leading position at the intersection of academia and practice;
- Driving instructional innovation by leading in the creation of new systems and models for education and outreach;
- Disseminating research and best practices across the entire Pitt Business portfolio to ensure consistent quality and rigor;
- Extending and enhancing partnerships across academic units, public sector employers, non-profits, and private industry to ensure relevance of learning objectives and transferability of knowledge, skills, and abilities;
- Translating student success in Pitt Business integrated learning courses and programs into successful post-graduation outcomes;
We believe that there are two facets to the students’ educational experience: Integrated Learning and Experiential Learning. Integrated Learning focuses on the links between business disciplines for strategic understanding of overarching organizing ideas and concepts studied in the business curriculum. Students are provided opportunities to develop and value multiple and diverse perspectives, while applying different disciplinary approaches.
Experiential Learning is the action-oriented, real-world experience that enables students to apply the learned course concepts to a specific business opportunity or problem. Students analyze, synthesize and develop novel solutions or recommendations in these unique program experiences. Through this hands-on approach, students gain critical cognitive, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills necessary to succeed in today’s business world.
Integrative coursework links concepts together from multiple disciplines providing different lenses through which to understand business issues.
Core Courses are the foundations of the Katz student experience and prepare students for further elective studies. These classes are harmonized, so that knowledge is threaded through each course to enable students to see problems through more than one lens. For example, the economics and accounting courses may share the same case study or challenge question for students to address in a variety of ways.
Integrated Learning Academy is an executive-level, seminar-style course in which students engage in analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of contemporary business issues in a specific industry/sector. This engagement is both in-depth within the specific industry/sector as well as comprehensive across the breadth of business functional subject areas that form the Katz MBA core.
Game Changers are short, innovative courses that enable students to explore a topic disrupting business in a faculty member area of expertise or unlock new knowledge in a condensed format.
Experiential learning enables students to apply concepts and theories from integrated learning courses to real-world challenges. Through these opportunities, students gain critical technical and transferable skills through experiences framed both inside and outside the classroom.
Classroom-linked experiences – programs through which students earn academic credit while undertaking real-life business challenges or research questions. Here are highlights from our experiential learning portfolio.
Consulting Field Project – This course teaches management consulting as a problem-solving framework, allowing students to apply the analytical tools and concepts they have learned to real-world problems faced by local, national and global clients. Students are partnered with a client organization and are supported by a faculty mentor and an executive coach.
Six Sigma: Theory and Practice – Students in this course are grouped in teams and work under the mentorship of a Six Sigma Black Belt on an industry client field project to apply the Six Sigma approach for process improvement.
Global Research Practicum – A research-oriented course with a study abroad component, in which students engage current international business issues affecting the global marketplace. Past themes have explores Brexit, the North American automotive industry and doing business in East Asia
Commercializing New Technologies – Student teams partner with local start-ups and faculty entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of commercialization and engage in the business plan development process.
Services Marketing: Strategies and Tactics – Students undertake a customer-journey map for a real-world client of their choosing, using interviews with key stakeholders. The course typically incorporates a live case exercise with a Pittsburgh-based client.
The Business of Humanity: Strategic Management in the Era of Globalization, Innovation and Shared Value – A course that focuses on strategic management in business contexts of high uncertainty and extreme complexity. Students learn the importance of innovation for sustainable competitive advantage and understand the emerging social and economic imperative of building business models that focus on shared value.
Practicum in Portfolio Management & Security Analysis – Students manage an live investment portfolio, exposing them to real world valuation estimation and portfolio management.
Data Programming with Python – A hands-on introduction to the use of Python programming language along with a focus on learning applied statistical inference, machine learning, data visualization, text analysis, and social network analysis techniques.
Beyond the Classroom experiences
The below experiences are programs which take place outside the formal classroom environment, providing learning opportunities for students without academic credit.
Super Analytics Challenge – An annual competition internal to Pitt in which students harness the power of data analytics to positively address critical social issues. Past events have centered on homelessness and food security.
Bridge Program – An annual summer experiential learning opportunity for students in which teams work together to address an issue or challenge facing a Pittsburgh area community-based organization.
Katz Invitational Case Competition – An annual case competition hosted by Katz to showcase the skills and talents of MBA students from around the country. The program encourages students to envision change and transformations that advance equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.