Multicultural Center for Academic Success (MCAS)

Building a community centered on trust, the Multicultural Center for Academic Success (MCAS) will strengthen the academic success of RIT’s AALANA (African, Latin, and Native American) student population.

There are numerous ways for any student to participate and engage with MCAS, including one-on-one coaching, leadership development opportunities, cultural diversity education, and community building programming. Specifically, students may participate in:

Programs

DDI Summer Experience

An intensive four-week summer program that consists of two three-credit-hour courses, developmental workshops, academic coaching, and community building. This pre-collegiate program helps first-year students get acclimated to RIT, building confidence and bridges to resources before the school year begins.
Learn more about the DDI Summer Experience

MCAS Advocates

MCAS Advocates and MCAS Student Advocates play a critical role in engaging and empowering AALANA students to successfully graduate from RIT on time while closing the achievement gap by building community. College advocates are selected by their respective Dean, and student advocates are active members of the MCAS community.
Learn more about MCAS Advocates

Destler/Johnson Rochester City Scholars Program

Designed for exemplary Rochester City School District students who are selected based on their academic achievements, leadership potential, and desire to make a difference in the RIT and surrounding community.
Learn more about the Destler/Johnson Rochester City Scholars Program

DDI Tutoring

Offered for “traditionally challenging” courses, with a peer-to-peer tutoring model, as a best practice approach for helping improve retention and graduation rates for underrepresented students.
Learn more about tutoring

Men of Color, Honor and Ambition (MOCHA)

Men of Color, Honor and Ambition (M.O.C.H.A) is a leadership development program for undergraduate male students at RIT. It is open to students who are between their second and fifth academic years of study.
Learn more about MOCHA

Women of Color, Honor and Ambition (WOCHA)

Women of Color, Honor and Ambition (W.O.C.H.A) is a one year initiative open to female students interested in developing leadership skills. Students must be in their second to fifth year of study at RIT.
Learn more about WOCHA

MCAS Library at RIT Libraries

Looking for textbook resources? There are more than 160 titles in RIT Libraries for MCAS student use. Textbooks can be signed out for two-hour time periods, within normal operating hours.
RIT Libraries website

MCAS Scholars Program

A highly selective program uniquely designed for students to enhance their 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.
Learn more about MCAS Scholars

students dancing

Unity House

MCAS and Unity House are committed to building a strong African American, Latin American, and Native American (AALANA) student community at RIT.  In a dynamic and unique collaboration with Residence Life, MCAS serves as joint advisor for Unity House. In this role we work collaboratively to advocate for the floor, as well as advise and support the student leadership. MCAS and Unity House work together to ensure a full floor with robust offerings – we host Tutoring, collaborate on programming, and outreach to all RIT AALANA students.
Learn more about Unity House

Frederick Douglass Scholarship

Frederick Douglass, the great abolitionist and human rights activist, was also a great orator and writer. For many years he called Rochester, N.Y., home. Education was important to him. The RIT Frederick Douglass Scholarship assists qualified students in their educational journey and awards up to $10,000.
Learn more about the Frederick Douglass Scholarship

Services

Multicultural Programming
MCAS takes the lead on providing culturally enriching programs open to the entire RIT community. Our Multicultural Programming creates collaborative celebrations that engage, educate, and enrich the RIT community.

Financial Support and Assistance
Students are eligible to apply for academic scholarships, emergency loan funds, and receive books through the MCAS Reserved Library held at the Wallace Library. These programs are offered to students on a semester basis, but students must meet the eligibility requirements for each program.           

MCAS Programs and Events
The Multicultural Center for Academic Success sponsors a series of educational, cultural, and social events designed to foster students’ personal, professional, leadership, and academic development.

Family Meetings
Family meetings are held three times a semester each academic year. These meetings provide students an opportunity to network with other students over dinner. Students also receive development workshops on a wide range of topics, such as time management, resume writing, STEM towards Success, and Co-op opportunities.

DDI Celebration of Excellence
The Celebration of Excellence is a Division-wide end of the year event that celebrates the accomplishments of Division of Diversity and Inclusion students, collaborators, partners, and supporters. This premier event also presents awards recognizing the contributions of student, faculty, staff, and alumni leaders to clubs, organizations, and departments.

Academic Support and Coaching
Professional staff are available to provide one-on-one advising and coaching to students on personal and social matters, to make referrals to other campus and community resources as appropriate, to monitor academic progress and recommend strategies for improving academic performances.

Locations

Map showing MCAS locations on RIT campus

MCAS Suite
Located on the Mezzanine level of the SAU (above Ben & Jerry’s and Nathan’s Soups), the MCAS Suite is home to professional staff and also our DDI Divisional Tutoring. Stop by to schedule a Coaching session, do some class work, or get to know the MCAS Team!

MOSAIC Center
MOSAIC (Making Our Space An Inclusive Community), is located at the top of the main staircase in the SAU. Students, faculty, staff, and administration alike use this location for meeting space, to relax and study, as a place to eat lunch, or a lounge to meet friends.

Learn more about the MOSAIC Center

Our Staff

James Macchiano

Director of Multicultural Center for Academic Success
585-475-2290

Megan Tornow

Program Coordinator
585-475-3001

David Benitez

Associate Director Community Initiatives
585-475-4260

Jonathan Ntheketha

Associate Director Student Success and Dev
585-475-4312

Stephanie Paredes

Assistant Director of Multicultural Programs
585-475-6444

Bernard Rodgers

Assistant Director for MCAS: Student Development
585-475-4548