Ujima Scholars Program
The Ujima Scholars Program, formerly known as Project Ujima, was founded in 1972 at Northeastern University. The Ujima Scholars Program serves as an access, recruitment and retention program for selected freshman students. “Ujima”, a Swahili word meaning “collective work and responsibility”, represents a guiding principle for Scholars and staff members. The program offers rigorous academic instruction in writing, oratory and research development and provides academic, personal and career counseling, workshops, information sessions, community service and leadership development opportunities, and cultural connectivity.
The Ujima Scholars Program offers students the following services:
- Course advising
- Academic instruction in writing and research skills
- Academic, career, financial, and personal counseling
- Group study
- Workshops and information sessions
- Special African Diaspora Library Collection
- Peer mentoring
- Selected major regular collage course
The Program coordinator, counselors, instructors, tutors, Ujima Scholars and other students work as partners to insure the academic success of the overall program. Toward this end, the program places heavy emphasis on academic excellence, personal development, role modeling, mentoring, cultural awareness, and information on choosing a major.
The Writing, Oratory, and Research Development (W.O.R.D.) Program is an important component of the Ujima Scholars Program offered through the Department of African-American Studies. The primary goal of the Program is to enhance student academic performance. The W.O.R.D. Program includes a two-semester course which has a curricular focus on critical thinking and strengthening students' skills in three areas:
- Writing - focus is on crafting strong essays, research writing and writing about literature.
- Oratory - emphasis is on developing effective oral communication and presentation skills.
- Research - concentration is on academic research, scholarly inquiry, analysis of current events and the diverse topics and texts of the African Diaspora.
The ultimate goal of the Ujima Scholars Program is to support students through their first year, prepared to be accepted into the major of their choice as sophomores. The long-term goal of the program is to provide academic and cultural support beyond that pivotal first year to insure that students earn their undergraduate degrees. The program collaborates with colleges, departments and key offices throughout the University to accomplish these goals.
Reflections from some Ujima Scholars:
"I think being a part of the Ujima Scholars Program has enlightened my cultural awareness. The Program has also guided me in the right direction in terms of challenging me to achieve at my highest academic potential and preparing me to be accepted into my major. I am now giving back to the Program by being a mentor and tutor to freshmen students." Ideline Delva, Class of 2006 Physical Therapy Major
"I think the Program is very family oriented and I always feel that I can go to someone to get help. As a commuter student, it is my home away from home. Even though I am a senior, it is helpful that the Program provides tutoring and counseling and keeps track of students through individual and group meetings." Rukeme Ejofodomi, Class of 1998 Computer Technology Major
"The Ujima Scholars Program provides me with a lot of support and challenges me to achieve academic excellence. The Program doesn't let me forget why I am at Northeastern. Whatever you put in is what you get. The Program has helped me to set priorities and work hard toward achieving my goals." Jean Gilles, Class of 2006