The Pittsburgh Career Institute is a school that strives to prepare students for jobs in the health industry. With an education from the Institute, students will be ready to take entry-level positions at a variety of different hospitals and clinics and remain in an ideal position to move up to higher learning opportunities and professional positions in the near future.
It’s a community college that offers programs for medical-focused jobs such as dental or medical assisting. These paths are often quite competitive so it’s important to go to a school that properly prepares you for the scenarios and stresses you will experience if you choose to pursue these careers.
The Institute strives to create an environment where students can feel welcome and focused and chase after their goals with real drive. The Institute focuses on providing quality and personalized education for each of its students. Not everyone learns or progresses on the same path, so the Institute seeks to work with students to find the best way forward for each of them.
All of the classes and equipment used for education are current relative to the medical industry. Each instructor is dedicated and professional; this ensures that each student is receiving real education that has actual market value. In addition, each Institute program is curated so that it is valuable to employers and thus can offer long-term employment opportunities to experience.
Each program relies on classroom education and on-hand experience. This distinguishes the Institute from many fellow community colleges and arguably is an advantage in these competitive fields.
To gain admission to the Institute, students must complete a personal interview with an admissions representative at the downtown Pittsburgh campus. This appointment must be in person and during the interview students will tour the school’s facilities and meet several faculty and staff members. This interview is designed for students to discover whether or not the Institute will be a good choice for their career ambitions.
Requirements for admission to the Institute include a successful background check, an application fee, and an entrance exam. In addition, certain programs may have additional admissions requirements to ensure that students can accomplish the set goals of a given program.
Credit for Life Experiences
Advanced Placement (AP)
High School GPA
High School Rank
High School Record
College Preparatory Program Completion
Standardized Test Scores
Tuition at the Institute is generally around $26,000. This includes extra fees but does not count towards books or other school supplies that may not be provided by the school. Laboratory equipment and anything specific to a course will be provided by the Institute.
This tuition is higher than many other community colleges or trade schools. Financial aid is often utilized by students to accommodate their budgetary restrictions.
The Institute offers several scholarships from the state of Pennsylvania. In addition, students can apply for a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant if they can demonstrate exceptional need. Students must qualify for the Federal Pell Grant beforehand.
Students should also take advantage of the FAFSA to apply for government level financial aid. Government-sponsored financial aid can include grants or loans.
The Institute also offers a federal work-study program that can assist students who must work part-time while attending school. The federal work-study program must demonstrate their financial need. If accepted, they will receive funding from the federal government to allow them to continue to educate themselves despite budgetary restrictions.
The Institute offers medical-focused career programs in several relevant fields that can prepare students for entry-level jobs upon graduation.
Dental and Medical Assistant programs result in a diploma. Students are exposed to many administrative and laboratory scenarios to prepare them for real-world working conditions. There is both class-based and location-based work and experiences to be had. In addition, medical assistant students will collect and prepare lab specimens and perform several tests under supervision.
Dialysis Technology students will become experts on the study of dialysis and the anatomy and physiology of the kidney. Hands-on training will be performed under the supervision of a Certified Hemodialysis Technician. Laboratory and clinical components are included in the coursework.
Diagnostic Medical Sonography students will have classwork and hands-on scanning experience in a laboratory setting. A clinical externship is included with the program.
Students studying Respiratory Therapy will learn to treat, manage, diagnose and rehabilitate patients all suffering from various respiratory disorders. The diverse curriculum will include hands-on laboratory work, classroom lectures and an integrated clinical externship that provides credit directly to the program. This valuable program prepares students to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation.
Surgical Technology students will receive an associate degree that reflects their knowledge of both literary and hands-on surgical information. Mock surgery settings are part of the program and include instructions on critical thinking under pressure and the anticipation of needs from a patient.
Veterinary Technology students will learn to provide quality veterinary care and use the on-campus laboratory to understand industry-specific needs. Students will also travel to off-campus clinical sites for further study.
In addition, the Institute is the only school in the downtown Pittsburgh area to offer programs in veterinary technology, medical and dental assisting, dialysis technician, respiratory technology, diagnostic medical sonography, and surgical technology.
Each class size at the Institute is small enough to allow for personal attention and individual instruction from faculty members. This low student to instructor ratio is rare among higher education establishments but it allows students to receive an education that is more personalized for their specific needs.
The Institute also offers a Career Services team. This team can assist students with resume writing and help them protect their interviewing and networking skills. All of these are soft skills that aren’t traditionally offered at many universities or institutions, but they have a big impact on potential employability for every person.
As students near graduation, Career Services will strive to offer even more assistance. This results in many Institute students having job opportunities before they graduate or shortly thereafter.
American Indian or Alaska Native
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders
Two or More Races
College life at the Institute is hectic and focused. Students must divide their time smartly between classroom education and laboratory or on-site exercises. This frequent switching between classroom or laboratory environments means that students and faculty are commonly coming and growing from university grounds.
This results in a professional but quiet college environment. While some student events do occasionally occur, there are no official planning committees or calendars that demonstrate communal gatherings or networking.
Traveling to the Institute can be easily accomplished using Pittsburgh’s public transportation system. This network is efficient and can be referenced at the Port Authority of Allegheny County website.
The Institute has a dedicated library that’s open during normal school hours. The library offers many computers for the purpose of research and study and the services of a full-time librarian so that research can be completed at any point during a program. The library possesses an extensive e-book collection and access to dozens of research databases.
These databases are valuable given the program focuses of the Institute and allow students to access current journal articles. These articles are often used for general education into the curriculum of each program focus.
The library network can be accessed via a computer or a mobile device. In this way, students can still complete their research and work even without access to a traditional desktop.
The Institute sponsors the career and networking fair every year during the Winter and Spring months. These events allow students to network and meet one another as well as potential employers to secure employment positions after graduation.
Students are generally positive about their experiences at the Institute. The staff is frequently praised as being very hands-on and dedicated to their students. This is to be expected since the class sizes are so small and everyone is so focused on succeeding and getting a real foothold in their chosen career path.
This is also important since so much of the curriculum takes place off-campus or in mock real-world scenarios. Good instructors mean that these educational opportunities are particularly effective and can be great legs up when it comes to being hired after graduation.
However, some students have noted that the school is fairly expensive compared to much of the surrounding community colleges or technical schools. While it is arguable that the quality of education validates the relatively high fees, some students certainly reported an issue with the overall cost.
Altogether, though, most students have positive things to say about Pittsburgh Career Institute. They value the fast-paced learning environment and hands-on approach of most teachers. It’s perfect for starting a career in any of their offered programs and can provide a valuable doorway into a wider future.
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