The Urban Leadership Learning Community (ULLC)
Co-Directors: E. Roger Stephenson, PhD and Christian Blum, PhD
The Urban Leadership Learning Community (ULLC) enables the best and brightest students from Greater Buffalo to enroll in a unique educational opportunity at Canisius. The ULLC offers students a four-year program to help create the next generation of leaders in Buffalo and Western New York from a population that historically has been denied positions of influence or power in Buffalo. The program provides its students with partial and full scholarships to cover tuition, room and board and fees. Moreover, through its many activities throughout a student’s undergraduate career, the program fosters academic excellence, extra-curricular involvement and service to others, all through collaboration. ULLC students consider each other “family” who cooperate rather than compete with each other.
The ULLC enrolled its first class in Fall 2000 and experiences an impressive 80% four-year graduation rate. 154 ULLC students have graduated since 2004, and currently there are 38 ULLC students pursuing undergraduate degrees in a wide-range of majors.
Graduates have gone on to graduate programs and professions in education, medicine, business and social work or are employed in a variety of occupations.
ULLC students take a number of “Team Learning” courses, non-lecture courses in a range of disciplines. The TL courses are writing intensive and emphasize a number of “levels of engagement” with course materials to promote “mastery” through teamwork. The leadership activities that ULLC students participate in are many and varied and include: a Leadership Workshop Series, four workshops that investigate and apply leadership concepts to the demands of careers and good citizenship; a Summer Leadership Training Program for incoming freshmen, two weeks of intensive preparation for the demands of college life; the ULLC Council, class representatives to plan and promote program activities, such as the Annual Banquet, the Senior Reception, the Parent Reception and the Program Blog. All ULLC students participate in one or more internships either related or ancillary to their career plans.
In addition, ULLC students travel to the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, annually; they hold offices in a wide range of campus activities; many of them study a semester abroad; and many participate in the Winter Service Week and Alternate Spring Break opportunities offered by the Office of Campus Ministry.