Student Engagement

Initiatives for Student Success

In our continuous pursuits of increasing enrollment, persistence, and graduation rates of African descent, AAAN’s Student Engagement unit utilizes effective practices that focus on implementing meaningful activities that are related to learning and personal development.  Our programmatic activities range in scope from pre-collegiate preparation to post-baccalaureate pursuits (i.e. career exploration, professional training, graduate and professional school, etc.).  We believe that the very act of being engaged adds to the foundation of skills and dispositions that are essential for thriving here at UIC but also living a productive life after college.

  • Leadership and Post College Success provides programming designed to inform and prepare upper class students of career and professional school opportunities as they move closer toward graduation from UIC. The goals of Leadership and Post College Success are to:
  1. Provide undergraduates with a comfortable place to explore their post-college interests.
  2. Assist in providing undergraduate students with the necessary tools and information for attainment of their long term educational goals; and
  3. Connect undergraduate students with various units and campus resources to facilitate their career and graduate school exploration.
  • College Transitions and Persistence assists new students in completing a smooth transition from their previous institution to UIC.  New students are assigned an academic advisor where they can assess the student’s academic as well as career interest. Additionally, AAAN staff participates in new student orientations and host campus visits for student groups and community organizations.
  • Academic Enrichment provides programming aimed at enhancing students’ academic prowess by pairing students with a peer tutor who will help the student overcome challenging course work.

Peers, Achieving, Community, Together (P.A.C.T.)  Mentoring Program

The African American Academic Network (AAAN) P.A.C.T. Mentoring Program is designed to assist first year African American students with their transition process from high school to college and increase both retention and graduation rates. First Year students (mentees) will be paired with an upperclassmen student leader who will serve as a peer mentor. These leaders will provide their mentees with guidance and ample assistance navigating the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) community and support through academic enhancement, cultural exploration, transitional adjustment and leadership development.

What do first year African American students gain from participating in the AAAN’s Peer Mentoring program?

  • A strong sense of belonging
  • Skills essential for overall student success and development
  • Increased cultural awareness and confidence
  • Opportunities to connect with campus resources and student services
  • Strong relationships with students, faculty and staff
  • Skills to help become successful both inside and outside of the classroom

Student who decided to become a Peer Mentor will…

  • Serve as a guide for prospective and current students
  • Develop/enhance leadership capability/skills
  • Positively impact UIC’s campus through student-centered service
Additional Resources

Black Male Initiative

The Black Male Initiative (BMI) is dedicated to supporting the African American male students of the University of Illinois at Chicago, BMI works holistically with students to create a supportive environment on campus where its participants will grow into fully engaged campus leaders and global contributors. The goal of BMI is the successful matriculation and graduation of its participants. BMI is committed to, invested in, and has an expectation of academic excellence for its participants. In its commitment to students’ academic, professional, and social development, BMI engages its students in:

  • Networking
  • Community Service
  • Social Connections
  • Academic and Professional Development
Additional Resources

Woman 2 Woman Empowerment

The Woman 2 Woman Empowerment Initiative aims to assist in the development of female identified students through engagement in workshops and activities that address self-esteem, academics, social and personal development, leadership training, and building community. The goal of the Woman 2 Woman Empowerment Group is the successful transition, growth, and development for all of those who choose to participate in its programming.

Additional Resources

UIC Black Tech Scholars Program


The mission of the UIC Black Tech Scholars Program is to ensure professional and web development opportunities for African American undergraduate students in order to foster interest and representation in the technology industry.

Scholars enrolled in this program will be provided preparation that involves a rigorous, content-rich business and web development curriculum and other social activities/events that emphasizes overall personal and professional growth. The curriculum and instruction will provide scholars with the opportunity to use and enhance their problem solving and critical thinking skills in the following areas:

  1. Various business functions as they apply to the lifecycle of a business and insight into their unique talents as it applies to the discipline of entrepreneurship
  2. HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript.
  3. Case projects that incorporates marketing campaign, web and mobile  development application.

In addition to courses, scholars will have an opportunity to engage in the following activities:

  1. Connect directly and shadow executive staff or technological professionals from a private company that features innovative web, mobile, and enterprise application development.
  2. Attend and actively participate in a tech networking event.
  3. Engage in a case study project on building web, mobile, and enterprise applications.
  4. Present a case study project to partners and UIC key administrators.
  5. Participate in a community involvement project.
  6. Attend a forum on campus or engage with community partners to promote consciousness around the lack of diversity within the tech industry.

Recognition of participation/completion of activities will be listed on transcript.