Multicultural Center for Academic Success (MCAS)

All About the Multicultural Center for Academic Success


The Center for Academic Success and Cultural Affairs was conceived as a partnership between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs to address the cultural and academic needs of the African American, Latino American, and Native American student population. The Center was launched in September 2001. In 2002, The Center was moved under Academic Affairs and renamed the North Star Center for Academic Affairs. In 2006, the Center moved to Student Affairs where it resided until 2010. In 2010, the Center was moved under the Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, and renamed the Multicultural Center for Academic Success (MCAS). MCAS continues to honor its original mission to aid in the retention and graduation of African American, Latin American, and Native American (AALANA) students by extending our promise to all students representative of the multicultural diversity at the Rochester Institute of Technology.


Today, The Multicultural Center for Academic Success (MCAS) is committed to maximizing the academic potential and holistic development of students by creating an inclusive, student-centered environment. By keeping academics first and foremost, MCAS strives to become a nationally recognized model for academic excellence and student success.

There are numerous ways for any student to participate and engage with MCAS including personal advising, leadership development opportunities, cultural diversity education, and cultural programming. Specifically, students can participate in the:

  1. MCAS Scholars Program A highly selective program uniquely designed for students to enhance the RIT experience through developing intellectual and ethical leadership skills, fostering a passion for educational excellence, and a commitment to the learning process throughout their time at RIT.
  2. Rochester City Scholars Program A program designed for high achieving Rochester City students, who are selected based on their academic achievements, leadership potential , and desire to make a difference in the RIT and surrounding community.
  3. MCAS Affiliate Program A program designed for all students falling outside the MCAS Scholars program, but desire to participate in a high touch intentional advising and leadership development program.
  4. MCAS Summer Bridge Program An intensive four-week summer program that consists of 2- three credit hour courses, developmental workshops, academic coaching, exposure to research, and community service programs.

Our Vision

To be a nationally recognized model for academic excellence and student success.

Our Mission

To maximize the academic potential and holistic development of students by creating an inclusive, student centered environment.

Our Values

  • Family
  • Student Centerdness
  • Academic Excellence
  • Multiculturalism
  • Professional Excellence
  • Community Collaboration

2014-2016 Strategic Plan


Develop a comprehensive strategy that will create strong alliances with strategic partners to advance scholarship and grant goals.

  1. Establish targeted fundraising for MCAS which articulates the case for funding and supporting specific needs and new initiatives
    1. Partner with corporations, foundations, and departments to identify funds that will fulfill Center Initiatives
    2. Regularly research and identify grants as well as seek endowment money
    3. Identify and utilize funding resources that exist and leverage those resources
  2. Continue and strengthen annual data collection
    1. Continue data collection through regularly benchmark MCAS data vs. RIT data vs. comparison institutions
    2. Provide College community with an annual report of MCAS initiatives, metrics, and assessment results
  3. Increase the visibility of MCAS, internal and external to RIT
    1. Develop articles and white papers that incorporate MCAS successes and issues of good practice to the campus community and into general higher education and diversity publications
    2. Encourage cross collaborative research and presentation collaboration
    3. Publish staff successes through website, annual reports, newsletters, and local, regional, and national news sources


Establish a united group of students by creating a nationally recognized academic model for academics, student retention, and student development.

  1. Create an overarching curriculum that unites all Scholars and Affiliates in MCAS to develop academic, personal, professional and leadership skills necessary for academic and personal success.
    1. Develop a formal advising curriculum/model that coincides with the semester system.
    2. Introduce the use of an assessment tool such as the the Student Strengths Inventory (SSI)* or LASSI to develop an annual academic success plan for each Scholar/Affiliate using the tool.
    3. Create a parallel my courses shell to efficiently share information equally among Scholars and Affiliates.
    4. Formalize Scholar workshops related to academics, professional development, leadership and career planning.
  2. Create and strengthen partnerships and co-curricular collaborative opportunities for Scholars and Affiliates.
    1. Maintain relationships with divisional members/offices as well as other campus and community partners
    2. Act as a connector for departments, programs, or offices seeking to enhance students’ academic, personal or professional development
    3. Actively involve faculty, staff, and administration in the success of students through Center Initiatives
    4. Create clear pipelines from MCAS to other programs within the division and larger campus community


Create opportunities for student, faculty, staff engagement and co-curricular collaboration

  1. Partner with departments, colleges, student clubs and organizations to create interest and collaboration of efforts in programs and events.
    1. Identify needs of students to better establish collaborative programming that will best benefit MCAS students.
    2. Cultivate mutually beneficial engagement strategies with cross functional partners.
  2. Create interactive learning opportunities for students to engage in activities at RIT and surrounding community.
    1. Engage students in activities to build appreciation and understanding of Rochester communities and surrounding areas
    2. Create pathways for students to connect with coop, student abroad, research, leadership opportunities through associations with community partners.
    3. Partner with alumni relations to maintain contact information of MCAS students to foster undergraduate and alumni engagement.
  3. Create targeted and intentional programming within MCAS
    1. Enhance pride and unity among MCAS students
    2. Strengthen interest and knowledge of MCAS among students, faculty, and staff in the larger RIT community.