Utica College

Community Connections

Utica College constantly strives to fulfill its mission of creating a community of learners on campus and beyond. By partnering with local school districts and businesses, the College has launched several programs to promote scholarship.

Young Scholars Liberty Partnerships Program
The Young Scholars Liberty Partnerships Program (YSLPP) is a multi-year program designed to motivate young students to stay in school, to earn a New York State Regents diploma, and to further their education beyond high school. During the academic year, close to 80 Utica College students tutor inner city youths each week. More than 200 young scholars study math, science and English language arts during the summer.

Launched in 1993 by the College and the Utica City School District, the program is funded by the Liberty Partnerships Program of the New York State Education Department, the Utica City School District, and Utica College with grants from additional sources.

Project SHINE
Project SHINE is a national service-learning initiative currently existing at 19 colleges and universities in nine cities across the U.S. It links college students with refugees and immigrants seeking to learn English and navigate the complex path to U.S. citizenship. Utica College and Hamilton College partner with the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR), the BOCES Utica Access Site, Matt Apartments and the Mohawk Valley Latino Association (MVLA) to deliver Project SHINE services in central New York. Students participate as coaches in ESL (English as a Second Language) classrooms for two hours each week, working one on one or in small groups with the immigrants and refugees.

SHINE gives students the opportunity to interact with the large refugee community in Utica, which is approximately 15% of the city's total population.

America Reads Challenge/America Counts
Administered through the Utica College Office of Student Employment, the America Reads Challenge and America Counts places Federal Work Study, major-related, and volunteer students in area elementary and junior high schools to help enhance skills in reading and math. Volunteers work up to 10 hours a week and learn valuable lessons helping others succeed.

Breakfast Reading Club Program
Founded by Utica College Associate Professor of Education Laura Dorow in 1995, the program is part of the Utica College-Kernan Elementary School Partnership. This program includes site-based courses, fieldwork and volunteering opportunities, and Utica College student teaching placements. Kernan School, an inner city elementary school in the Utica City School District, serves a large percentage of minority, low income, and English as a second language learners.

Eugene Paul Nassar Ethnic Heritage Studies Center
Courses, seminars and publications in ethnic studies especially on those populations residing in central New York are coordinated by the Ethnic Heritage Studies Center. Founded in 1981, the center also oversees the development of the Frank E. Gannett Memorial Library book collection in ethnic studies. It also has coordinated ethnic festivals honoring the larger ethnic populations in the Utica area with the Friends of the Library.

Center For Historical Research
Established during the spring semester 2000 the center, operated by the College's history department, provides resources and assistance to Utica College students, faculty, and members of the community in designing and implementing local and global history projects. The main objective of the center is to help students who are working on "The History Project," an annual publication on local history. For more information, contact John Swanson, (315) 792-3242.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
Members of Utica College's Accounting Society volunteer each spring semester to conduct the VITA program in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service. The VITA program enables students to get hands-on experience in the preparation of income tax returns, while providing a valuable service to the community.

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