Colleges wishing to launch a new program or affiliate an existing program focused on the retention and academic success of African American students based on the model established by the Umoja Community Education Foundation, are expected to adhere to the following core requirements:



  1. Provide a program coordinator with dedicated time to plan and administer program activities and oversee program budget. The program coordinator must attend the Umoja Community Summer Learning Institute.
  2. Provide faculty member with appropriate reassigned time to prepare for and deliver Umoja programs. Faculty member must attend Umoja Community Summer Learning Institute.
  3. Provide a designated counselor with appropriate reassigned time. Counselor must attend Umoja Community Summer Learning Institute.
  4. Provide a new student orientation/welcoming ritual/rite of passage or other event at the onset of the program and a year-end/culmination/awards program at the conclusion of the academic year for first-year students.
  5. Support campus research office to produce a report each academic year to include an evaluation of the program retention, persistence, and success data.
  6. Support college/district IT department to submit each term the proper MIS data to CCCCO indicating active Umoja students, as required by the CCCCO. 


  1. Provide a learning community model (students take two or more linked courses) or cohort model (students enroll in one program course and other classes with the general population).  In the absence of a learning community or cohort model, students should be placed in “Umoja-supported” classes during the semester.  An Umoja-supported class is one in which the participating faculty receive ongoing training and regular support from the college Umoja program coordinator and staff to ensure the success of the students.
  2. Provide a two-semester sequence of counseling-based classes for first-year students in the program.  In the absence of these courses, ensure that students are receiving ongoing counseling information in the form of seminars or workshops. These seminars or workshops will only replace counseling-based classes for a limited and agreed upon period of time. If the program offers alternative courses that serve a similar purpose to a guidance course, the Umoja Regional Coordinator will need to approve these courses as satisfying this core requirement.

Village Space

  1. Provide a dedicated space to serve as a “village” area where program students and staff can gather. In the absence of a dedicated space, the college will arrange for students to meet on a regular basis (e.g., weekly) to gather for program activities.
  2. This provisional arrangement should be temporary as the program coordinator works with the appropriate college administrators to secure a “village” space.

Student Support Services

  1. Provide counseling services, including, but not limited to assessment, orientation, counseling, student educational plans and follow-up services until the student accomplishes his/her stated educational goal.
  2. Provide intrusive counseling support—academic, personal and career—and follow-up services until Umoja program students graduate or transfer to a four-year university.
  3. Provide a leadership and/or mentoring program with college staff and/or community, professional, or peer mentors.  In the absence of a formal leadership/mentoring program, the college should provide ongoing campus-based lectures/speakers that motivate student engagement and success.  Also, in the absence of a formal leadership/mentorship program, the Umoja staff should actively encourage students to seek mentorship on the campus or in the community.

Training and Support

  1. Participate in an initial Summer Learning Institute for staff training and development (all program team members preferred).
  2. Provide sufficient reassigned time to designated college staff to attend mandatory Umoja training sessions, including the week-long Umoja Summer Learning Institute.   At minimum, the program coordinator, classroom instructors and the counselor should plan to attend.