Students at Waterfront Elementary School, Futures Academy, East High School, and Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts are served by the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) for the purposes of dropout prevention. Staff have engaged at-risk students in grades 5-12 with research-based interventions, including growth mindset/brainology and student success skills curricula, both designed to bolster students’ soft skills and increase academic achievement. As a result of these multifaceted interventions, overall GPAs and standardized test scores have increased, and students’ levels of risk, in terms of dropout, have also decreased across the board. As a partner with Buffalo Public Schools, LPP has established a pronounced and effective presence in the schools and continues to connect students to resources available at UB.
Social Justice Immersion project is part of the course requirements for a graduate course, Cultural Diversity in Higher Education, required for students enrolled in the master’s program in Higher Education Administration and Higher Education Student Affairs Administration. To serve the purpose of better understanding others who are culturally different from oneself, students were asked to immerse themselves in other cultures, increase their social contact with others and possibly experience a new minority status by (a) attending activities or events related to a specific social identity group other than that of their own, or providing some type of service to a social justice related group or organization that addresses issues that do not pertain to their social identity groups; (b) reflecting on their own assumptions, biases and stereotypes regarding the activity or services; and (c) presenting the lessons learned from the experience with the class and in writing.
The purpose of the Management Volunteer Program (MVP) is to prepare University at Buffalo School of Management students for their professional endeavors by connecting classroom learning to real-world experiences. Through a holistic approach, this program seeks to enrich, engage and excite students about their personal and professional development. The MVP utilizes experiential learning through volunteerism to facilitate students’ developmental growth. We believe that the opportunity to gain real-world work experience within the larger framework of an educational setting is of particular benefit to these students, who are often at an early stage in the recognition and development of skills valued in the workplace. Through their work, students should aim to develop a diverse skill set in preparation for future occupations. Participants are required to complete 25 hours of volunteer work with an approved organization throughout the course of one semester. Students reflect on their experiences through writing assignments. In addition, they are also required to record a final reflection video at the end of their experiences.