B. Christiana Birchak, PhD, Dean
William Waller, PhD, Associate Dean
Charlie Finch, PhD, Assistant Dean
University College (UC) supports learning across multiple disciplines and from a variety of perspectives, thus fostering the versatility and creativity essential to success in the 21st Century. It offers two degrees that prepare graduates to adapt to the ever-changing world economy. The baccalaureate degrees in Applied Administration and Interdisciplinary Studies both allow students to refine skills, broaden knowledge, and prepare for personal growth, professional advancement, and graduate school. Additionally, the College provides innovative programming for undergraduate students during their freshman and sophomore years, including coordinating the First Year Experience and the newly created Second Year Experience. Among these academic enhancements are Supplemental Instruction, the Freshman Summer Success Program, Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID), and the Student Transition and Retention (STAR) Program. Interdisciplinary honors programs and faculty development activities to encourage transformative teaching and learning serve the university-wide community.
Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence
Gregory A. Dement, PhD, Director
The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) at the University of Houston-Downtown is led by a full-time Director in consultation with an Advisory Board broadly representative of the UHD community. It was established in 2013 to serve as a hub of innovation, collaboration, and scholarship for the purpose of enhancing UHD learning environments and supporting ongoing student success initiatives. These initiatives include improving the first-year experience for students, enhancing the quality of online and hybrid courses, and expanding the use of AAC&U high-impact practices. The center provides all full-time and part-time instructors at UHD with access to a variety of services and resources that address differences in teaching styles and disciplinary pedagogy. These offerings include, but are not limited to, individual consultation, classroom observation, support for the scholarship of teaching and learning, instructional training grants, stipends for participation in faculty teaching circles, professional development workshops, and web-based/print resources. The center is focused on promoting continuous improvement and supporting evidence-based and innovative instructional strategies in order to enhance the vibrant teaching culture at UHD.
University Honors Program
Mari Nicholson-Preuss, PhD, Director
The University Honors Program offers high-achieving intellectually curious students an enriched educational experience. The stimulating curriculum supplemented by a variety of engaging cultural and social activities provides ample opportunities for Honors students to develop as scholars, leaders, and global citizens. An Honors Council composed of elected faculty representatives reviews proposals for the Honors designation for existing courses. Honors courses are typically small learner-centered courses that delve deeply into the content with inquiry driven lessons taught by exceptional instructors utilizing innovative classroom strategies. Honors students work closely with faculty in a number of academic settings ranging from graduate style seminars to independent research. The Honors Program supports student success through personalized advising as well as peer and faculty mentoring. Admission to the Honors Program is competitive, and scholarships are available.