The University of Houston’s Urban Experience Program complements the larger mission of the University of Houston by expanding opportunities for educationally and economically undeserved citizens. UEP began a five year pilot program, founded by Dr. James H. Pickering and Dr. Elwyn C. Lee. The program was first initiated in 1994, and its original plan was to recruit, retain and propel African American and Latino students towards earning a degree, and becoming successful after receiving their undergraduate degree. The program offered three primary services for up to 50 students. Those services were scholarship resources, student internships, and enhanced campus services.
UEP now serves nearly 200 students of a more diverse population, making it a goal to help any and all students with their financial and academic challenges. By providing a wide range of streamlined services designed in response to students’ needs such as grants, mentoring, internships, volunteer opportunities, jobs with UEP, off-campus college work study opportunities, financial empowerment seminars, and more. UEP strives to create academic opportunities for participants in the program in concert with community and corporate networking and support. The program assists students in having the ability to compete at the same level as others in a professional corporate America environment. UEP strives to help make sure that each of the many voices that make up our community finds its way into our corporate offices. The leadership of our human services community and the upper rankings of civic life are all vital aspects to our student’s future success. UEP wants nothing less from our students, but to infuse our educational resources, which are drawn from the diversity of values, cultures, and experiences.