Now in its third year, following the exceptional success of the Liberal Arts for the New Majority program in February 2016 and our initial pilot of the program in July 2015, The Futures Initiative is excited to build upon our success in our first two years to offer a third iteration: Leadership, Liberal Arts, and the New Majority—all of which have been generously funded by the Teagle Foundation. This year we will extend the elements of the program that yielded the highest impact, and will blend new methods that will be of high benefit to the leadership fellows, and minimizes administrative overhead while ensuring the best possible support, mentorship, and training for the new incoming Futures Initiative Leadership fellows (designated as “Future Leaders”).
This year the program will welcome twenty-five Undergraduate Leadership Fellows across twelve different CUNY campuses to participate in learning leadership and mentoring skills in addition to being implemented into all elements of core Futures Initiative programming, thereby providing participating undergraduates with opportunities to build meaningful relationships with graduate students and faculty members at the Graduate Center, and to participate in high-level programming on key issues in higher education.
While keeping these essential elements of student centered pedagogy, peer mentoring, and leadership intact and as our primary methods, we will shift the programmatic framing from a focus on solely peer mentoring to a more broadly conceived leadership development opportunity. By refining the focus on leadership, we will foster the development of skills that are easily legible across a range of contexts; bring the expectations of the students into better alignment with the outcomes of the program; and significantly reduce administrative overhead by focusing resources on the most effective parts of the program and streamlining other components. Through this program we will maintain a focus on making visible the successes that students have already achieved, and the ways that these accomplishments prepare them for future success as scholars, leaders of their communities, and more.