The Rochester Center for Community Leadership was established in January 2005 as part of the College Dean of Students Office. Its purpose is to develop, coordinate, and promote a variety of programs to connect college students to their community and to encourage them to become engaged citizens and leaders during their college years and in the future. Our distinctive College curriculum emphasizes student responsibility for their education; its values of freedom, responsibility, and community make community engagement an essential part of student learning. We have developed a unique model of community leadership that supports the interest driven nature of the College curriculum, one that is based on research on student and community development theory, as well as leadership theory. At Rochester we encourage our students to learn what they love and to give where they live.
The University is the only college within the city limits and we have actively sought to develop partnerships with the community that surrounds us. With the help of significant partners as in our surrounding community, we have developed a comprehensive program to engage students in their community on and off campus. Because we are a diverse community of students with many different interests and talents, it has been important to cultivate multiple points of engagement and activity. The center, therefore, works continually to increase and diversify the array of opportunities for civic involvement and to make these options visible and accessible to all our students. Students are encouraged to get involved in service or political activities, with academic and research projects, to participate in the social and cultural life of the area, and to seek out jobs and internship placements. Our goal is to encourage their involvement on and off campus because we know that active citizens make for strong communities. Along with creating opportunities and promoting community engagement, the center has also developed a variety of workshops and courses to help students develop the skills they need to assume roles as community leaders here and in the future.
The Rochester Center for Community Leadership serves to coordinate and promote these activities. Our advertisement to students is "UR Here." On-campus students use this phrase to signify that something important is happening. We intend to infuse their phrase with new meaning. Our message to students is: you are here, this is your community, get involved now.