Centers & Institutes

  • Urban Action Institute

    Jump to: Older Student Registration

    The Urban Action Institute is the outreach and community action arm of Worcester State University’s Urban Studies Department. We promote student development and collaboratively address social, political, and economic injustices in our society through collective transformative action that bridges lines of difference and forges community.

    We aim to enable students and community-members of all ages and backgrounds to work for an equitable world. Specifically, we work on:

    • Social Justice. Students work with community partners on initiatives that defend human rights and the struggle for equity across the greater Worcester area, including on issues of racial and economic justice, LGBTQ rights, and diversity.
    • Inclusive Communities. Initiatives that support refugee and immigrant communities' efforts to find a sense of place and belonging in the city. This involves work with Worcester community organizations and institutions to further the city’s efforts to be a welcoming place for immigrants.
    • Collective Good. Builds off of the idea of “the commons”; efforts focused on the expansion and protection of collective resources that are maintained by engaged urban residents for the benefit of communities.
    • Global Citizenship. Forging connections between WSU students and the greater Worcester community to address global issues locally as well as abroad through advocacy, outreach, and transformative action.
    • Intergenerational Solidarity. Bringing younger and older students and community members together on a range of social-change efforts while fostering personal and professional development.
    • Educational Collaboration. Working with students from across the education system to identify pathways to academic success in which they can build leadership and active citizenship skills through mentorship initiatives that emphasize inclusive communities, social justice, collective good, global citizenship, and intergenerational solidarity.

    The work of Urban Action Institute is conducted in different formats: practica, events, speakers and workshops. We also oversee and manage the WSU Teaching Garden and Older Student Registration.

  • Urban Studies Practica

    We invite you to participate in UIA programs through the following Urban Studies practica:

    Garden (UR440-05)
    You will work in the WSU Teaching Garden with students of Chandler Magnet Elementary School. Experiential learning topics include planting and growing, eating nutritious food, and sustainable living. Offered only in the fall semester.

    SNAP Program - Hunger Outreach Team (UR440-03)
    You will participate in campaigns to raise hunger awareness on campus and in the community. You’ll help individuals apply for SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) benefits and staff the SNAP office on campus.

    English Language Learning (UR440-01/02)
    This is an experiential learning opportunity to work with Worcester’s immigrant and refugee population as they strive to integrate in the United States and learn English. Be a tutor and a cultural ambassador as you work with these learners from all over the world.

    Youth Leadership (UR440-04)
    This supports an after-school program at the offices of African Community Education. Be a mentor, provide homework support, and take part in leadership skill-building activities with youth members of Worcester’s African immigrant community. 

    WSU Teaching Garden
    The WSU Teaching Garden is located right across the street from the Ghosh Science and Technology Center at 531 Chandler Street. This is an outdoor classroom that provides many different learning opportunities across all the different disciplines at WSU and within the Worcester community.

    Community groups like Community Connections and Girls, Inc. run summertime leadership development programs at WSU that include work in the garden. Some of our community partners are Chandler Magnet Elementary School, Bet Shalom, and the Regional Environmental Council.

    If you are interested in getting involved with the garden, send an email to
  • Older Student Registration

    Massachusetts residents age 60 and older are entitled to free tuition courses on a space available basis at all public higher education institutions (by state law). The Urban Action Institute administers older student registration prior to fall and spring semesters.

    Registration for Fall 2020 Classes

    Please note: Due to COVID-19, there will be no in-person registration for the Fall 2020 semester. In order to allow adequate room in classrooms and for individuals to safely distance, only online classes are available to older students for the Fall 2020 semester. An online orientation will be required and will be available on this page before the start of the semester.

  • Registering for Fall 2020 with my “older student tuition & fee waiver”
    • Older Student Registration will open on Friday, August 28 at 9 a.m.
    • Watch the required Online Video Orientation, posted below.
    • Review the list of Online Classes:
    • Once you have identified your course, you will need to complete the fillable Older Student Registration Form. Enter your information and the class(es) you want to register for. Save a copy of the completed registration form.
    • Complete the fillable Certificate of Tuition Waiver Form. Save a copy of the completed waiver form.
    • Email these completed forms to You must also email a scanned copy of your Massachusetts Driver’s License verifying your age. You must be a resident of Massachusetts and be over 60 to be eligible for the tuition and fee waiver.*
    • A representative for the Urban Action Institute will be available to answer questions on August 28 by phone from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 508-929-8900.

    * If you have previously taken a course at Worcester State University using the Older Student Registration Commonwealth Tuition Waiver, you do not need to provide documentation of your residency or age.

    Things to consider when searching for a class
    • Any sections ending in “S” are not available during Older Student Registration.
    • Graduate and Continuing Education reserves the right to limit registration on certain evening and graduate classes.
    • Audit forms are available by request after registration by emailing and must be returned with instructor permission by the end of the add/drop period.
    • Proof of completion of course prerequisites is required at the time of registration. Students will not be allowed to register for a course unless they have completed the prerequisite or its equivalent or have written departmental approval. Advanced degrees, certificates, doctorates do not replace meeting the requirement of fulfilling course prerequisites.
    • List the course that you want to take first in the “course selection” area. List any alternative classes you would like to take if those are not available. Write “Alternative” next to those course titles. This will streamline the process and cut down on back and forth emails between you and the Registrar’s office.
    Older Student Registration Online Orientation

    Please watch the required orientation video: