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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Academics & Research

Urban Experience Program renamed as Center for Student Empowerment


Urban Experience Program renamed

Students hold a sign of the newly renamed Center for Student Empowerment, formerly known as the Urban Experience Program. | Courtesy of Ja’Neria Ross

The Urban Experience Program, known for its support of UH students toward academic, professional and personal success, has changed its name to the Center for Student Empowerment.

The change was made to better reflect the identity and mission of the Center, according to an announcement on its website about its new name.

The center provides programming that assists students with financial, academic or other barriers that stand between them and graduation, but these programs will not be changing as a result of the name change.

“We wanted to keep the same feel to the UEP acronym … to keep the fun but also express the purpose of our office,” said CSE graduate student assistant Ja’Neria Ross. “We cannot wait to have our first event with our name changed and invite all the current Coogs.”

The name change will be reflected in new signs and promotional items. CSE hopes this will allow even more services, programs and scholarships to develop.

CSE initially began in 1994 to recruit and provide resources to Black and Latino students. It has since expanded to 600 students of diverse backgrounds, majors and career fields. 

It boasts many pillar programs, including the Las Comadres mentoring program for first-generation Latina students, the Black Excellence Scholars Training Program for Black students of all majors, the Diamond Family Scholars Program for former foster youth, DREAM Scholars for DACA and undocumented students and the Financial Empowerment Series for all CSE participants.

Additionally, CSE provides scholarship resources, student internships, enhanced campus services and help with grants, off-campus college work study opportunities and volunteer opportunities.

One upcoming event is a conversation with a Houston immigrant-led civil rights organization about DACA and the Dream Act updates.

“The CSE program is a special addition to UH students because we consider ourselves a ‘hidden gem,’ ” said Ross. “This means once a student shows interest in the program and becomes family, they can qualify for some of the amazing opportunities we offer.”

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