Civic Engagement - University of Houston
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. The 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 as well as a Get Out the Vote Campaign where we help students register to vote.

2021 Art Congress

  • In the 2021 Art Congress, high school students interpret the prompt creative citizenship, exploring and identifying the countless ways in which individuals and groups contribute valuable ideas, services and resources to government and the community.

    Over 400 ballots were cast in the 2021 Art Congress election. The Art Congress celebrates and recognizes the artistic achievements of Houston Independent School District’s students. We are honored to present the top three audience favorites who will go on to serve as members in the Art Congress.

    View the gallery of submissions.

  • Isabelle Crowell, 11th Grade

    Isabelle Crowell, 11th Grade

  • Camila Moyeda

    Camila Moyeda

  • Sarah Gonzalez Martinez, 11th Grade

    Sarah Gonzalez Martinez, 11th Grade

Social Engagement as Creative Work

Social Engagement as Creative Work (HON 3397H)

This course will be a service learning experience that puts the concept of “creative citizens” into practice. Students will help bring ideas from inspiration to realization by developing our partnership with five local high schools in the “grand challenge” of social inequality. We will think about our civic engagement practice through a variety of critical and creative prisms and hold a virtual art competition to showcase the high school students' visions of American government.

For more information, contact Robert Cremins.

A Red Megaphone

Civic Engagement and Social Justice in High Schools

Are you interested in doing civic engagement and social justice outreach work in high schools?

Would you like to help address systemic inequality?


Get Out the Vote

Citizenship Participation

Get Out the Vote
Make your voice heard in the next election!
Sec. 13.143(e) of the Texas Election Code, if the 30th day before the date of an election is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal state or national holiday, an application is considered to be timely if it is submitted to the registrar on or before the next regular business day.

You can register to vote online through Rock the Vote:

You can request a voter registration form through the Texas Secretary of State:


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 Exam Self-Study

Are you ready to begin preparing to take the citizenship exam? You will find self-study 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.  

Access the Citizenship Learning Materials here.

These materials are provided in partnership with Advancing Community Engagement and Service (ACES) Institute, the University of Houston Law Center and the Honors College.


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.

Introduction to Civic Engagement

Introduction to Civic Engagement (HON 4397H)

This Honors class is offered in 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.

Additional Links