The Rochester Center for Community Leadership (RCCL) has recently been recognized nationally and locally for its work in fostering a culture of service and civic engagement at the University of Rochester. The center was established in January 2005 through the College office of the Dean of Students, and has since flourished to develop lasting partnerships within the greater Rochester community.
"These accomplishments spotlight the University's role as a national leader in community leadership," says Glenn Cerosaletti, director of RCCL and assistant dean of students.
RCCL acts as a networking system, establishing partnerships for connecting students with an array of public service opportunities on- and off-campus. The center encourages involvement in service and political activities, social and cultural life in and around Rochester, and academic projects, jobs, and internship placements.
RCCL's impact on student engagement has proven long-lasting. The Washington Monthly's annual college guide evaluated data over a 10 year span on colleges' commitment to fostering public service, ranking the University 6th for percentage of students pursuing work in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and public education after graduation. The University of Rochester surpassed other national universities ranked top 10 by U.S. News.
The Washington Monthly notes that universities proven to produce graduates who pursue public service "actively cultivated cultures of service on campus, and then built the financial and programmatic infrastructure to support students' trajectories in service after graduation." RCCL is a driving force in promoting, facilitating, and coordinating community involvement, says Cerosaletti.
"The report from the Washington Monthly confirms our premise: that students emerge from the University not only well prepared to take on careers in public service, but passionate about creating positive social change in communities across the country and around the world," he explained.
RCCL also was spotlighted in an annual study by the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs at the University of Maryland on community leadership programming. The Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership (MSL) insight report synthesizes data on leadership programs and highlights best practices across campuses. The University was one of the founding participants in the study in 2006 and has participated in this leadership study on two occasions since then. RCCL programs highlighted for best practices include Slingshot to Success, Compass to Personal Success, and the Rochester Urban Fellows Program.
In addition to its national ranking, RCCL has been acknowledged locally. The center received an award on September 28, 2013 from the Youth Services Quality Council of Monroe County for being an "Outstanding Asset-builder." RCCL was nominated by Keith Alexander of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County for its work through the Rochester Youth Year (RYY) Fellowship program.
"This is the second time that the Rochester Youth Year fellowship program has been recognized locally for its role in strengthening the community through asset-building approaches," says Cerosaletti. The University is one of seven local colleges that administer the AmeriCorps-sponsored fellowship program.
For more information about RCCL, visit the Rochester Center for Community Leadership homepage or call 585.276.6860.