Skip to main content

Civic Engagement at the University of Houston

Civic engagement means working alone or together to address issues of public concern. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes. By engaging in public issues you can make a difference in the civic life of our communities and government. Being involved helps you develop a combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make a difference. Two programs designed to improve civic engagement are Citizenship Learning where we help UH students, faculty, staff, and their families become citizens and Civic Participation where we participate in a letter writing campaign to elected and unelected officials, community leaders, and non-profits to share our educated views on specific issues and a Get Out the Vote Campaign where we help students register to vote.

Citizenship Learning

Citizenship is fundamental to our system of government but not everyone living in the United States is born a U.S. citizen. Some become citizens through the naturalization process. The naturalization process involves being a lawful permanent resident, applying for citizenship, and taking the citizenship exam. 

Citizenship Learning Workshop
Plan to attend our citizenship learning workshop to learn the requirements for becoming a U.S. citizen. We will have lawyers there to answer your questions and to help those of you who are ready to apply for citizenship by providing more information about the N-400 application.

Citizenship Learning Workshop
Thursday, November 7, 2019
Honors College Commons, 4-7 p.m.

Citizenship Learning Prep Classes for the Citizenship Exam
Are you ready to begin preparing to take the citizenship exam? Join us for one of the two free 4-week sessions we will be holding accelerated “fast-track” prep sessions on American Government designed to prepare you to take the civics portion. We will also help by conducting mock interviews on the last day of the course.  

February 2020 April 2020
Thursdays - Feb 6, 13, 20, 27 Thursdays - Apr 2, 9, 16, 23
Honors College, Rm 212S, 6-8 p.m. Honors College, Rm 212S, 6-8 p.m.

All UH students, faculty, staff, their friends and families, and other members of the UH extended family are eligible to enroll. These events occur in partnership with Advancing Community Engagement and Service (ACES) Institute, the University of Houston Law Center, and the Honors College.

For more information, contact Michelle Belco.

Register here:


Citizenship Participation

Deputy Voter Registrar Training
Being a deputy registrar will allow you to register eligible voters. Join us for the deputy voter registrar training conducted by the Harris County Voter Registrar. The training itself will be from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and refreshments will be served before and after the training.

Get Out the Vote/Letter Writing Campaign
Citizens are expected to perform their civic duty by engaging in political behaviors that affect the government. Casting a vote is a well-known type of political behavior that is critical to a democracy because citizens elect the representatives who serve in government. Another way of participating is sharing your views with elected and unelected officials, community leaders, and non-profits whose goal is to inform the public on key issues.

An important part of letter writing is being adequately informed and learning how to craft an effective letter. Join us to hear guest speakers present on current critical topics and earn how to craft an effective letter. We will also be registering students to vote so help us Get Out the Vote on the UH campus!

Deputy Voter Registrar Training Get Out the Vote/
Letter Writing Campaign
Get Out the Vote/
Letter Writing Campaign
Thursday, Oct 3, 2019 Thursday, Oct 10, 2019 Tuesday, Nov 5, 2019
Honors College Commons,
4-7 p.m.
Honors College Commons,
4-7 p.m.
Honors College Commons,
4-7 p.m.

For more information, contact Michelle Belco.   

Register for these events here:

Introduction to Civic Engagement

Introduction to Civic Engagement (HON 4397H)

This Honors class is offered on the fall semester and available only to Honors students.

The focus in this class is poverty, not just studying poverty in the abstract, but learning about poverty with the goal of working toward alleviating it. In this class you are encouraged to be action-oriented, to learn and do, to plan and execute. The class will meet and discuss the various aspects of poverty with many people who are actually engaged in the work of alleviating poverty. The goals of this class are for the students to come away with a basic understanding of poverty in the United States, and to form a more in-depth understanding of how the impoverished face challenges in the arenas of education, the criminal justice system, nutrition, and health care.

For more information, contact Douglas Erwing.

Vote Button

Houston Youth Voters Conference

In collaboration with Lone Star, Rice, TSU, HCC, and UHD, the 2nd Annual Houston Youth Voters Conference (HYVC) is a summit focused on the empowerment of Houston youth as it concerns civic engagement. The event will feature speakers (Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman, Founding Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research Stephen Klineberg, and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo), policy discussions, and opportunities for youth to meet like-minded individuals. We will also register/pledge to vote together and come up with actionable ways to get civically engaged as a united Houston youth front.

Friday, September 20, 2019
3-8 p.m.
University of Houston Downtown campus

RSVP here.

Additional Links