This research project grew out of a paper presented at the 2011 All-College Conference of Empire State College (ESC) in Saratoga Springs, NY. As part of a plenary session entitled “Empire State College as an Open University: Open to Whom?” Principal Investigator Rhianna Rogers presented a paper entitled “Is ESC’s Niagara Frontier Center (NFC) a Culturally ‘Open’ Center for Learning?” This paper discussed Rogers’s tentative findings about cultural views within the Niagara Frontier Center (NFC) student population (2010-2011). Data utilized in all stages of this project (2010-2013), combined Western New York (WNY) Regional Census reports, ESC Census data, and general findings from informal and formal surveys to discuss the level of cultural understanding at NFC and whether it correlated with student academic performance, retention, and persistence. Pilot survey data from the AY 2010-2012 indicated a general lack of cultural understanding among student populations and suggested that culturally diverse students were not being adequately engaged. Results of the AY 2012-2013 formal survey reaffirmed many of the pilot survey results, but also yielded new information about WNY culture and its impact on students, not previously considered. Information collected from both the pilot and formal surveys were later used to create cultural activities to engage students at the Center. Positive feedback and regular attendance at these events by student, staff, and faculty suggested the validity of this research. The results of this data collection are articulated in the report presented below.