Rice University

Rice University Center for Civic Leadership

Urban Immersion

URBAN IMMERSION

Are you an incoming Rice student (First Year or Transfer)? Do you enjoy volunteering with family and friends? Are you interested in learning more about Houston? Do you want to meet a group of new students who share your interest in civic engagement? Do you want to take the first step toward becoming a campus leader?       

Urban Immersion is an annual summer program coordinated by the CCL that introduces incoming students (both pre-freshmen and transfers) to the principles of civic leadership, critical service, and to the City of Houston with the guiding mission of fostering the growth of informed and passionate advocates for social justice. The program is planned and executed by a team of undergraduate coordinators and site leaders in collaboration with local community partners and under the guidance of CCL staff. 

The program is based on four core components: community-based learning, critical serviceeducation, and reflection. Participants will engage in educational sessions that aim to introduce them to the communities that make up the city and provide context for that day's service or learning experience. Participants will meet with local leaders and community organizations to gain a better understanding of the "big picture" - from community assets and root social issues to the forces and individuals driving positive change. Finally, evenings will be concluded with group reflections during which participants are encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings with the group as a way of processing each's days events and moving from observation to action.   

In keeping with the spirit of the program, participants and student coordinators will live together in the community. This is an off-campus experience and participants will have safe and secure, but simple living conditions. All meals are prepared and enjoyed together as a group. In the same vein - the UI Cohort will remain together for the entirety of the program to ensure both safety and team building.

Dates Held:  Due to high demand and positive feedback, the CCL will offer double the number of Urban Immersion sessions for summer 2019! Four sessions of 24 participants each will take place over the course of two separate weeks in July and the beginning of August. Each session will be facilitated by a three-student leadership team overseen by CCL Staff. Applicants should NOT make any travel arrangements until they receive confirmation and further instructions from the Center for Civic Leadership. 

  • 2019 Sessions One & Two Dates: Sunday, July 14 - Friday, July 19

  • 2019 Session Three & Four Dates: Sunday July 28 - Friday, August 2

  • Lodging: Local church or community building. May vary by session.

Funding: The CCL covers all costs except for transportation to and from Houston.
Financial aid is available for transportation and is NOT a factor considered in the application and selection process. The CCL follows a need-blind policy for all application processes. CCL staff determine awards in collaboration with the Financial Aid Office. In order to maintain confidentiality, site leaders will not have information about who applies for or is awarded financial aid.