Center for Urban Education

The Center for Urban Education is concerned with promoting and implementing programs that contribute to positive developmental outcomes for urban youth who attend low-performing schools or live in high-risk communities. Its methods include the identification, support, and development of youth programs that improve the lives of urban teenagers. An important focus of the Center for Urban Education is on establishing and evaluating faith-based programs for talented urban youth.

Mission Statement

Through its mission statement and objectives, the Center for Urban Education supports the Mission of Siena College and its Strategic Plan – both of which recognize the importance of strengthening academic programs and enhancing student involvement and engagement.

The Center for Urban Education is a joint venture among academic programs in the School of Business, School of Science and School of Liberal Arts with direct accountability to the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy.


The Center for Urban Education’s programs are centered on the concept of Arete.  Arete is a Greek term that most closely translates in English to mean excellence.  As used by the Greeks, the idea of Arete involves individuals using all of their abilities and potentials to enable them to excel in carrying out all that they do.  In short, Arete is what makes something the best of its kind.  These programs are supported by Siena College, the Albany City School District and interfaith communities from Albany including the Macedonia and Union Missionary Baptist Churches.

  • The Academic Achievement Program is designed to promote language awareness, develop vocabulary skills, increase reading fluency, and improve problem-solving skills in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The mastery of these skills is essential for any college-bound youth. Participants include students from low performing schools in the City of Albany, and college interns studying to become teachers.
  • The Urban Scholars Program brings middle school students from the City School District of Albany to Siena for enrichment experiences that promote their gifts and talents. Gifted youth possess or are capable of developing above-average abilities, and high levels of motivation and creativity. The Urban Scholars Program supports high achievement and places students in contact with Siena College faculty and other community experts in workshop seminars. Each Seminar is focused on a particular project in Science, Liberal Arts or Business.
  • Summer Faith-Based Programs are interfaith programs held at Siena College that seek to improve students’ awareness of their mental, physical and spiritual capabilities, and their understanding of how they are all connected. These programs are directed by local churches and occur towards the end of the summer in preparation for the start of the school year.

Contact Information

Robert Colesante

(518) 782‑6747

Center for Urban Education

PH: (518) 782‑6725

FX: (518) 782‑6571