The Urban Leadership Learning Community (ULLC)

What is the ULLC?

Canisius ULLC students

The Urban Leadership Learning Community (ULLC) Scholarship is a competitive, four-year renewable scholarship covering 50-100 percent of a student’s tuition, room/ board and fees. The ULLC enables the best and brightest students from Greater Buffalo to enroll in a unique educational opportunity at Canisius. The ULLC offers students a four-year program to help create the next generation of leaders in Buffalo and Western New York from a population that historically has been denied positions of influence or power in Buffalo. The program provides its students with partial and full scholarships to cover tuition, room and board and fees. Moreover, through its many activities throughout a student’s undergraduate career, the program fosters academic excellence, extra-curricular involvement and service to others, all through collaboration. ULLC students consider each other “family” who cooperate rather than compete with each other.

Mission of the ULLC

Through the Urban Leadership Learning Community Program, Canisius University seeks to fulfill the Jesuit and Catholic tradition of being “men and women for others.” The program aims to create the next generation of leaders by focusing on students from populations that historically have been denied access to positions of influence and power in the community. The purpose of the scholarship is to help finance one’s education, while taking into account demonstrated financial need for students with an interest in promoting diversity and an inclusiveness in learning, living, and problem solving. Qualified ULLC students will have an interest in promoting diversity and inclusiveness on campus and in the community. The ULLC scholarship program is looking for independent-thinking, self-motivated students committed to their personal success and to that of greater metropolitan Buffalo, NY. Students will also seek to develop their learning potential through team-learning, mentorship, leadership training and involvement in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Through these activities, students are expected to achieve and hold leadership positions in the campus community.


The ULLC enrolled its first class in Fall 2000 and experiences an impressive 80% four-year graduation rate. Almost 200 ULLC students have graduated since 2004, and currently there are about 40 ULLC students pursuing undergraduate degrees in a wide-range of majors. Graduates have gone on to graduate programs and professions in education, medicine, business and social work or are employed in a variety of occupations.


ULLC students are required to take four, collaborative, non-lecture “Team Learning” courses for the core curriculum foundation courses. They have opportunities for more in a range of disciplines. The leadership activities that ULLC students participate in are many and varied and include: a Leadership Workshop Series, four workshops that investigate and apply leadership concepts to the demands of careers and good citizenship; a Summer Leadership Training Program for incoming freshmen, two weeks of intensive preparation for the demands of college life; the ULLC Council, class representatives to plan and promote program activities, such as the Annual Banquet. All ULLC students participate in one or more internships either related or ancillary to their career plans.
ULLC students hold offices in a wide range of campus activities; many of them study a semester abroad; and many participate in the Winter Service Week and Alternate Spring Break opportunities offered by the Office of Campus Ministry.


Apply Now

Successful candidates will:

  • Demonstrate leadership potential and express willingness to promote diversity and inclusiveness beyond their school community
  • Be a member of a population that historically has been denied access to positions of influence (e.g. first-generation college students)
  • Possess a high school average of 85 percent or higher
  • Be a resident of the greater metropolitan Buffalo area
  • Demonstrate high financial need (must file for state and federal financial aid using FAFSA)

Requirements for Participation in the Program:

  • Four Foundational Team Learning Courses
  • A Two Week Summer Orientation Program
  • On Campus Residence
  • Four Leadership Workshops
  • Internships
  • Attendance/Commitment to Frequent ULLC Social Events

 How to Apply:

  • Submit an application for admission and the required application materials to Canisius University by February 15th.
  • Complete the ULLC application with required essay and submit it by the February 15th deadline.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation. One from a teacher and one from a person who can speak strongly of your leadership potential, personal accomplishments and commitment to your community. Mail your letters of recommendation to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
  • You may be selected to interview with Canisius University faculty to determine your knowledge of the program, commitment to its ideals and overall willingness to learn and grow within the ULLC community.

Contact Information


  • Bennie D. Williams
  • Michael Forest, PhD

For further information, please contact the program administrators at @email.