For more than 30 years, UT Outreach Centers in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio have helped create a college-going culture in underserved Texas high schools. In 2020, the names of the centers have been changed to UT Youth Engagement Centers to reflect a broader scope of work and new focus on recruiting more Black and Latino students to UT.
We are continuing to provide a comprehensive college preparatory program that includes workshops, boot camps, tutoring and mentoring sessions as well as community service opportunities and visits to college campuses. Several centers also will serve middle school students and two of our centers have a focus on alumni engagement. The web pages for each of the Youth Engagement Centers provide details for what services are offered at each location.
UT Youth Engagement Centers target and serve underrepresented students by providing college readiness enrichment activities designed to assist them in graduating from high school and matriculating to institutions of higher education, including The University of Texas at Austin.
In 1987, UT Youth Engagement Centers (first named UT Outreach) began its long-standing presence in five cities: Austin, Dallas, Houston, Rio Grande Valley, and San Antonio. The UT Youth Engagement Centers provide a comprehensive college preparatory program for selected students in targeted high schools. Group and individual services are designed to enhance a student’s academic success in high school and to increase admissibility to their chosen college. Staff members assist students by holding monthly meetings with them on academic subject requirements, SAT/ACT test preparation, college, and student financial aid application assistance, as well as other college-related information.
College Readiness Workshops: UT Youth Engagement Centers staff deliver services and programs that closely align with the State of Texas’ College and Career Readiness Cross-Disciplinary Standards and with The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s “Generation TX” College Readiness initiative. UT Youth Engagement Centers staff members meet with participating students monthly during advisory periods to provide college readiness workshops.
Weekend Workshops: Weekend and evening college readiness workshops are held at least once per month for all participants.
Leadership Development: Students participate in leadership development activities, community service opportunities, field trips and summer enrichment camps.
Students eligible to participate in UT Youth Engagement Centers exhibit the following characteristics:
- Attend target public high schools
- Receive the recommendation of a school administrator, teacher or counselor
- Complete a UT Youth Engagement Centers application
- Pursue the Texas Education Agency’s Recommended or Distinguished/Advanced High School Program
- Have a 3.2 GPA (Longhorn Pre-College Academy Cohort have a 3.5 GPA and/or rank in the Top 10% of their class)
The Centers served a total of 2,853 students during the 2016-17 academic year across 54 high schools. Sixty-three percent of participants are first-generation college students and 80 percent are from low-income households.
Program Participants by Ethnicity
African American 29%
Asian American 5%