| Life at WSU | Student Services | Multicultural Affairs
The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) works with students to make a successful transition to college by enhancing their current knowledge and skills. We do this by focusing on the academic, personal, social, and financial adjustment to university. We take a comprehensive approach to increasing the effectiveness of first generation, low-income, and ALANA (African/Latino/Asian/Native – American) college students.
The OMA office hosts the following programs: Alternatives for Individual Development (A.I.D., which also supports the WSU Summer Bridge Program), The Upward Bound, “100 Males to College”, WSU Multicultural Programming and Third World Alliance (TWA, which is a WSU legacy ALANA student organization).
The OMA hosts other signature cultural programs including Latin Heritage, Black History, Courageous Conversations, Native American and Asian American, as well as the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Breakfast, and many other culture and diversity events and activities.
If you feel the need for support services to succeed in college, we encourage you to connect with our Alternatives for Individual Development Program. A.I.D. is an alternative admissions program at WSU that provides educational assistance to underrepresented prospective students who demonstrate the desire to succeed in college, including those who are ALANA and low-income and/or would be the first in their families to attend college.Our retention services begin with the 6-week summer academy, which will give you the opportunity to gain 3-12 college credits. Although our primary focus is on your freshman year, you can take advantage of A.I.D. services throughout your undergraduate experience. A.I.D. services include academic support, individualized or group tutoring, assistance with financial issues, and cultural enrichment activities. If you are a resident student, you can apply to live in the A.I.D. living-learning community in Dowden Hall.
You must be an incoming first-year student, meet minimal admission criteria, a Massachusetts resident, and a U.S. Citizen and/or permanent legal resident to be eligible to apply. To apply, complete an undergraduate application and select “Yes” to question #19 on the application. Letters of recommendation from a school counselor and a high school teacher are required to complete your application. Priority consideration is given to students who submit all materials by March 1.
Summer Residential Program Support Services
The Upward Bound Program at Worcester State University actively recruits eligible 9th and 10th graders in Worcester public high schools who are potential first-generation college students, minorities, or from low-income families to participate in the Upward Bound's Saturday workshops and a Summer Residential Academy on campus. Our goal is to help them persist in school through graduation and enroll in college.The Saturday workshops increase problem-solving skills, self-awareness, and self-confidence, enhance interpersonal/intrapersonal communication skills and group dynamics, and promote career development through professional and educational speakers. The program, which runs for approximately 22 Saturdays, also offers college mentors, tutoring, and personal and career counseling. The Summer Residential Academy is a 5-week residential program that offers students a college housing/living experience, academic enrichment courses for English, math, science, language, problem-solving, and self-awareness, college tours, recreational activities, and cultural field trips.
Since 1977, our Upward Bound program has prepared more than 2,000 public high school students for successful graduation and enrollment in college. Sixty students complete the program every year. Since its inception, nearly 100% of participants have graduated from high school and 95% have enrolled in college.
Application ProcessEligible high-school students can apply during their fall semester through December/January. The process includes submitting a complete application and, if selected, a final interview to ascertain applicants’ level of motivation and future academic and career goals.
If you are interested in applying, please speak to your guidance counselor for more information or call the WSU Upward Bound office at 508-929-8909.
This annual event celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the achievements of Worcester’s youth. The all-youth program consists of poetry, dance, music, and readings based on Dr. King’s life and teachings. Students from both public and parochial high schools in Worcester compete in a poetry-writing contest addressing Dr. King’s philosophy, principles, and goals around non-violence, unity, equality, and ending racism and discrimination. They must research Dr. King’s life and become knowledgeable about the power of non-violence and the importance of civic responsibility. An annual poster contest, organized in partnership with Worcester Academy, showcases our youth’s creative and artistic representations of Dr. King.Each year, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Breakfast program also honors and celebrates the contributions of leaders around the city who continue to provide opportunities and pathways for Worcester’s youth:
Co-sponsors of the event include the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Conference and Event Services, Chartwells, the Latino Education Institute, the Dennis Brutus/Merrill Goldwyn Center for the Study of Human Rights, Publications and Printing Services, the Worcester Youth Commission, and Friendly House.
Vanessa Laracuente was one of 20 student leaders from around the United States to attend the Intercollegiate Diversity Congress Summit hosted by the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation. She was selected because of her “tremendous background” in addressing problems with campus climate. “I was honored and felt very humbled to be chosen,” she says. The goal was for each participant to develop a project that would address forms of discrimination on their campus. She is planning to create a video with testimonies of at least 100 students “about their experiences and whether they've ever felt a time when they did not feel included” that aligns with President Barry Maloney’s Five Points of Action.