UCB Home Page
Urban College of Boston
A Two-Year College



Family affair:photo copyright by Don West all rights reserved
At UCB, it's a family affair.

The Urban College of Boston (UCB) is an independent, coeducational
two-year higher education institution located in the heart of downtown Boston. The Urban College was founded by Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD), which is one of the nation’s largest community action agencies and Boston’s official antipoverty agency. In 1967, ABCD launched the Urban College Program in an effort to meet the educational, employment and career development needs of the adult community. This new venture gave major support to the ABCD mandate to promote self-help for people and neighborhoods through community education and training. The Urban College Program quickly attracted the enthusiastic collaboration of major Boston area colleges and universities, enabling men and women over the ensuing years to earn academic credits toward undergraduate and graduate degrees while acquiring job-related skills.

Founding President Robert M. Coard joins President Turner and Trustee Peter Ebb in applauding keynote speaker Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund at Commencement 2003

In January 2006, the Urban College of Boston (UCB) received continued accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Inc. Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.  In granting the College continued academic and institutional accreditation, NEASC noted that the college substantially meets the Commission’s “standards of accreditation.”  The Commission takes favorable note of the exemplary and powerful mission and the passion and dedication of the Urban College community in striving to achieve this mission.  Also, as an accredited institution, the college has opportunities to increase scholarship awards for many of its financial aid students.  The Urban College provides inner-city residents who might otherwise never go to college with the opportunity to achieve higher education credentials and skills tied to upwardly mobile careers.

Twenty years later, preparations began to obtain independent degree-granting status. In May 1993, the Higher Education Coordinating Council of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts voted unanimously to charter the Urban College of Boston: A Two-Year College as a private institution of higher learning, authorized to grant the degree of Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education, General Studies, and Human Services Administration. In January 1994, the Urban College of Boston proudly enrolled its first degree candidates, men and women who had chosen the road to personal and professional fulfillment with an institution created specifically to support and foster their ambitions. In 1995 the College was granted Candidacy Status for Accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). In 1998, the affiliation with ABCD was redefined as a partnership, when UCB was granted 501(c) 3 status. In September 2000, the Urban College became a fully independent college, while maintaining a partnership with ABCD.

In October 2001, UCB was awarded full accreditation by NEASC.

Vivienne Thompson
Television personalities Liz Walker and Jack Williams with Vivienne Thompson (middle), a long time board member. Following her death in 1994, a scholarship fund was established to commemorate her devotion to UCB.

Now, entering its eleventh full year of operation, the Urban College of Boston welcomes a student body fully representative of Boston’s diverse populations. In addition to its degree programs, UCB offers certificate programs and continuing education courses to those seeking to upgrade particular career skills. Students not quite ready for collegiate-level studies are asked to enter pre-college courses emphasizing communication and learning skills. A full range of academic, career and personal services assists and empowers students to achieve their goals.

Since enrolling its first degree candidates in January 1994, 258 Urban College graduates have received their associate degrees. In its 11th Anniversary year, UCB serves more than 700 students each semester through associate degree programs in Early Childhood Education, Human Services Administration, and General Studies, as well as a variety of certificate and continuing education programs.



Urban College of Boston

178 Tremont Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02111


Urban College of Boston
A Two-Year College Chartered in 1993